Memory, Place, Identity

The development of the Memory, Place and Identity experiments involved two axes of exploration: a substantive one, concerned with place, memory, identity, especially in relation to the body, movement and things; a methodological one, concerned with how to go about doing phenomenological experiments. Here two things can be noted about the proposed phenomenological experiments: first, they would be more focused on enabling precise descriptions of experiences, from a first person point of view and tracking the dynamics of the individual experience, rather than quantifying over populations according to variables already specified by the experimenter; second, they would be more focused on arriving at the conceptual framework proper to the experience generated in the experiment, vs. constructing an experiment to fit an already given conceptual framework or at least they would keep open this arrival.


To prepare for these explorations, Sha and Morris held seminars in the fall of 2009. Participants read designated texts taking notes, or wrote up small observations, and posted them to a blog. Most of the texts focused on the substantive axis of exploration.


The first experiments used Max/MSP/Jitter. For the actual experiments, TML researchers built prosthetic sensory organs that converted light into pressure. Zohar Kfir and Patricia Duquette constructed a glove with a photocell mounted inside a straw lined up with the index finger. Incident light above a tunable threshold mapped via an Arduino board into a vibrator motor.