Being in the World

by stronged

Jason hooked me up with a copy of Being in the World (2010) that has solidified certain Western philosophical concepts for me. Namely, Heideggers notion of being in the world: Ready-at-hand and present-at-hand. Being open to interacting with your environment. Here are some quick notes:

  • An epiphany: considering that the Vine app is dependent on touch to operate, it presents me with a great example of Bogost’s notion of Carpentry and Heideggers concept of ready-at-hand. The user does not speculate upon what the app or device is, instead, they just pick it up and use it. Through the action of using the app it is rendered into existence. Considering it also needs the user to exist, the dialogue/interaction struck up between instrument and user creates an expression that achieves the act of Carpentry.
  • For my Breakfast prototype riffing off Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology, I explode what my breakfast consists of by exploring the theoretical concepts of ontography (Korsakow operating as a “list-making device”) and Carpentry (developing a dialogue between myself and the systems of Vine, Google and Korsakow).
  • Mood is created by interaction
  • Carpentry is creating patterns/signals between user and instrument. As this relationship becomes more proficient the user becomes embodied in that world.
  • The risk-takers are the one’s who disclose new worlds: who discover new things.
  • Panoptic attention = a peripheral awareness of everything that surrounds you. A spatial awareness and engagement with your environment similar to group flow. Put in another way, tuning oneself into the assemblage of your setting so that you are open to spontaneous lines of flight. As a side note: Actors have the saying “you have to own it” to describe this state of being: not only embodying the character but open to your surroundings (fellow performers, audience, set, props, lighting).
  • Heidegger believes what sets us apart as human beings is our capacity to disclose whole new worlds. We can create and categorise new worlds by our expression and mythopoetic tendencies.
  • Some important stages of human philosophical development:
  1. Physis = the natural ebb and flow of one’s emotions and moods.
  2. Poesis = evoking the essence or functionality of something – “bringing things out”
  3. Christianity brought in the belief of creationism, imposing form upon everything in existence and therefore “closing worlds.” (i.e. peasants are peasants, slaves and women are subordinate)
  • Heidegger spoke of the “technological understanding of being:”
  1. the most efficient way to create things is to standardise systems of operation
  2. Giving into the seduction of technology you lose your skills
  • “The source of meaning is not in us, as in the Cartesian way, or in some Supreme Being, but it’s in our way of being in the world. Being in the world is a unified phenomenon. When people are at their best, and their most absorbed, and doing a skilful thing, they lose themselves into their absorption – the distinction between the masters and the world disappears.” – Hubert Dreyfus, Professor of Philosophy at U.C. Berkeley.
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