Thursday, March 18, 2010

S03 The Cave: An Individual Experience

The Cave was a fascinating experience. As I heard the explanation of how the Cave worked, I came to realize that there would be only one person who has control over what happens in the Cave. Only one pair of glasses has a tracking device. There was a certain poem in which you could "travel" through that showcased who had the control. You could see a drawing and it wasn't until the person being tracked stepped forward (or traveled through the text) that the text behind the image could be seen by not only her but everyone else. Agre speaks of tracking devices that are physically attached and others that are stationary but detect movement. Considering those devices with the Cave, the Cave will always be an individual experience experienced by others.

While wearing the glasses with the tracking device. I felt less free than without them. I was very conscious of my movements and always wondered if the people around me felt it too. Or if the images were switching with my every move and I wasn't aware of them. I'm sure this is how prisoners in Foucault’s Panopticon must have felt. There is an overwhelming sense of surveillance, but you can't be too sure about it. While wearing the glasses, the only person who is being tracked was me, but I still didn't know which portions of the show I was being tracked during.

However, I wasn't completely confined by the space. At times, (especially when the background was a dark color) I felt like the space was bigger than what it actually was. Maybe a few feet, but still bigger. When the demonstration with letters, I at times felt like I was moving through space. Unfortunately the feeling of being tracked was still there, but it was still a fascinating experience.

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