Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Introducing On the Same Page (A Study in Language and Intersubjectivity)

This video introduces the "On the Same Page" (OtSP) project, a collaborative study in participatory sense making that includes clinical/neural psychology, language/narrative and performance art. It is a project initiative within the SITE initiative in the Department of Psychology at Umeå University, Sweden.

My component of the project involves the opportunity to theorise the expansion of language in the On the Same Page Project. Embodied communication and the semiotics of the three-dimensional are just two areas that are outside the realms of verbal language but that at the same time define and support the space we share when we communicate with each other with spoken and written language.

Symbolic modes that are bound up with the spatial -  for example clothing, body modification (such as tattooing) and gender play -  are examples that are common for negotiating the social today. These realms of communication can be seen as exemplified in the gesture. Sign language is perhaps the most developed mode for gestural communication, but we all use gesture to communicate. Gestures are shared as nodes in the cultural fabric of reality. In fact I would argue that gestures are a primary mode for expression and experimentation within the components of social identity today. New media, such as video games, exploit gesture as a mode of communication to both convey narrative and engage in play.

My contribution to OtSP is to take up the non-verbal elements that are aspects of communication and place them in broader communicative contexts. The spatial is perhaps the most obvious of these broader contexts. I look forward to experimenting with how performance can intersect with shared spatial codes to result in evidence of intersubjectivity in relation to communication and ultimately identity and meaning. My hope is that the results of these experiments will be in the direction of contemporary narrative studies.

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