Interaction as material: The techno-somatic dimension

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12 Scopus citations


This paper proposes an alternative approach to the analysis and design of interaction in real-time performance systems. It draws on the idea that the connection between the human engagement with the interface itself (digital or analogue) and the resultant rich media output forms a proposed experiential dimension containing both technical and somatic considerations. The proposed dimension is characterised by its materiality and is referred to by the author as the techno-somatic dimension. The author proposes that the materiality of the techno-somatic dimension may be usefully examined as part of a re-consideration of the nature of interaction in systems where the input characteristics of the performer's actions, the musician's gesture, the dancer's movements and so on are analysed and also drive the rich media content of the work in real time. The author will suggest that such a techno-somatic dimension exists in all human engagement with technologies, analogue or digital. Furthermore, the author is proposing that design and analysis efforts for new interactive systems should focus on the techno-somatic dimension; that, if this dimension is designed with care to produce a detailed and nuanced experience for the user, design specifications for the interface will automatically result; and that such an interface will produce the somatic and functional characteristics to produce the desired materiality and actional intentionality. For the purposes of this discussion, the author will focus principally on musical interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-89
Number of pages8
JournalOrganised Sound
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 5 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music
  • Computer Science Applications


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