Culture in multisensory computing: dividing the body for a digital future

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Publication details

Kerruish, E 2019, 'Culture in multisensory computing: dividing the body for a digital future', Journal for Cultural Research.

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This paper examines the ways in which computer science and a selection of multisensory digital devices modulate the term culture. Three self-identified, ‘cultural computing’ devices are examined: ZENetic, Alice’s Adventures and GRIOT’S Japanese Renku. The devices variously configure relationships between bodies and culture so that the body is thought to provide a window into particular cultures, as well as a universal tool of their transmission. These delineations of the term culture occur in continuity with surrounding political histories and projects, including racial and ethnic ones. Dividing the body between the extra cultural and the culturally specific works to secure the communicability as well as the exclusivity of cultural practices. It is an instance of what Merleau-Ponty terms a divergence, a gap within the body between two imbricated parts. In this way, these devices present culture as a source of innovation that combats global and abstracted computing practices.

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