Mary Lim

Friday, February 19, 2016

week 4: final idea


Creating experiences that are exclusive and only for the wealthy does not sit well with me, which is why I cannot get myself to create things that involve expensive equipment and materials. There is something very superficial and empty about fabricating environments that only feed certain types of behavior that only indulge the senses and over-stimulate the viewer (crazy, flashing LED lights, interactive screens, flying robots, etc. etc). Not to say that I'm against technology. Tech is cool and I'm all for it! But I'm against using technology to indulge and oversaturate. I saw a video somewhere of a woman dancing in a cube, with interactive lights surrounding her to emphasize her movements. While the digital element was visually striking, it was also overpowering. Why can't we just appreciate the movements of the dancer herself, and leave it open to interpretation for the viewer to imagine the context/emotion of the dance? I thought it excessive and somehow manipulative. Another element I wanted my concept to take into account is how it "adds to the conversation" (as Frank would put it). It's important to me that my project is progressive, not regressive. I want to explore new arena.

It's been a long struggle, but I've finally settled on an idea (for sure this time).

Some notes from my research:
"What" and "Where" in Spatial Language and Spatial Cognition by Barbara Landau
-our ability to express spatial experience through language sets humans apart from other animals
-our ability to use representations to express space - talk about what things are and where they're located
-how language draws on our spatial representations such that we can manage to talk about what we perceive
-whatever we can talk about we can also represent (visually?)
-spatial language relates to time*** (also status, possession, social organization)
-spatial representation involves vision, audition, and touch (all senses)
-count nouns (what) endless amount, prepositions (where) limited
-shape bias
-any spatial distinctions must be able to be talked about, correspond with spatial representation. it's necessary in order to talk about it - there is nothing that cannot be represented spatially by language (ideally)
-understanding our representations of space requires invoking mental elements corresponding to places and paths, where places are generally understood as regions often occupied by landmarks or reference objects. Objects (including oneself) are then located in these places. Paths are the routes along which one travels to get from place to place.
-standard linguistic representation of an object's place requires three elements: the object to be located (figure), the reference object (ground), and their relationship. 
-figure and ground = noun phrases
-relationship = spatial preposition (defines a region in which figure object is located.)
-about 80-100 prepositions (overlapping meaning,) vs. 10,000+ nouns
-every spatial relation = 100 object names
-factors involved in defining spatial relations: 
---asymmetry between figure and reference objects (basic parameters for spatial relations)
---geometric possibilities for three elements: reference object, figure object, region based on the reference object
=asymmetry between figure and reference
--R (a,b) / spatial relation = objects related
--"the table is under the book" --> wrong, because size
--linguistic asymmetry follows principles of spatial organization (requires one object to be anchored relative to some other object)
--reference objects: large, stable, distinctive
--organization of language = organization of spatial cognition**
--distance: reference objects are critical anchors in structuring cognitive maps
----people judged the distance of a poor reference object to a good one as SHORTER than the reverse***
------ex. the lamppost to the nerm vs. the nerm to the lamppost
--people were quicker/more accurate when asked "make it so the (moving) block is on top of the (fixed) block." vs. "make is so that the (fixed) block is on top of the (moving) block."
--viewed as not possible: "make it so the house is near the bicycle" because fixed object could not be moved
*constraints of geometry of figure and reference object
-how system of spatial relations expressed in language makes use of the shapes of the objects being related.
-no prepositions that must be analyzed in terms of a particular geon (2d/3d shape: cone, cube, ...)
-two separate regions for what/where distinction in the brain (but converge at certain points)
-the unimportance of the third dimension in the mental representation of objects
ex. clock and orange are both round (third dimension is not of prime importance in linguistic descriptions)
terms used to describe spatial qualities of objects are those that are, strictly speaking, applicable to flat objects.
-The striking differences in the way language encodes objects verses place leads us to suggest two explanations: First, there is a tendency for languages to level out geometric detail from both object and place representations. Second, a nonlinguistic disparity between the representations of "what" and "where" underlies how language represents objects and places. The language of objects and places converges with and enriches our understanding of corresponding spatial representations.

Language and Spatial Cognition by Annette Herskovits
"Language and spatial cognition: an interdisciplinary study of the prepositions in english" - anette
-"In fact, the spatial domain remains incomprehensible when looked at in this way. Careful examination of a range of locative sentences reveals that the spatial objects related often do not actually exist in the world, but are mental constructions - beyond and above that first mental construction produced by perception. Even objecthood is not an unalterable given."
-dynamic prepositions (to, from, via)
-static prepositions (in, under, on)
-three basic topological prepositions: at on in
projective prepositions: derived from the experience of viewing: in front of, behind, to the right
-ideal meaning of preposition (geometric) point, line, surface

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