Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seeing a tip of the iceberg (Fri 11 am section)

In Navigable Space, the author describes exploring the virtual space as a subjective process, because the explorer’s vision is constantly changed according to his very own manipulation of and interaction with the virtual reality. “The navigable space is thus a subjective space, its architecture responding to the subject’s movements and emotion. In the case of the flaneur moving through the physical city, this transformation, of course, only happens in the flneur’s perception, but in the case of navigation through a virtual space, the space can literally change, becoming a mirror of the user’s subjectivity. “(Navigable Space) I think we can also see virtual space as a mirror of our subjectivity at large. When we are navigating the virtual reality, our view changes because we are only able to receive a small fraction of the large virtual environment at one time. Even though the computer can generate an infinite number of data, we as players can only perceive the part that we are able to, hence our subjectivity. The virtual reality, as a signifier of the real world, reminds us of our subjectivity in our perception of the physical world as well.

Just like the case in virtual reality, we are bombarded by huge amounts of information when we are interacting with the physical world. Information comes to our senses and we process the images, sounds, touches etc with our senses. Then our brain process the data that we have perceived and we “see” the things that we see. However, information is filtered in each step, as we are unable to absorb all the data, and finally what is bumbling up to consciousness is what is the most self-absorbing.

The brain processes 400 GB of info a second but we are only aware of 2 GB of those (Movie: What the Bleep Do We Know). Our awareness of those 2 GB of info is most of the time just about our body, environment, and time: we are living in a world of our own, a world of our subjectivity. We are only seeing a tiny tip of the iceberg.

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