• Across the threshold: a somaesthetic approach to the design of extended realities

      Summers, Alan; McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester
      The prospect that extended realities (XR) will become a seamless part of our everyday environment comes ever closer with the development of mixed reality headsets. These devices allow a blending of digital objects with the user’s actual spatial environment. The user interacts with the virtual objects and these objects can, in turn, interact with the ‘real-world’ environment. We argue that the design and interpretation of these extended realities requires design thinking that questions the dominant standard model of cognition, which is indebted to Cartesian perspectivism. We suggest that situated and enactive models of cognition furnish a better understanding of how the body, mind and environment are essentially integrated, enabling us to apply such understanding advantageously to the design of these devices and environments.
    • Albertian Perspective and Augmented Reality: Lessons from Panofsky

      Summers, Alan; McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester (IEEE, 2017-09-12)
      This paper addresses the ubiquity of Albertian perspective as the dominant paradigm in the production of certain diagrams. Panofsky recognized the cultural specificity of perspective as, “a systematic abstraction from the structure of … psychophysiological space.” He considered it essential to ask with regard to artistic periods, not only whether they have perspective, but also what kind of perspective they have. This paper asks a similar question with regard to the employment of such perspective in augmented reality technologies. In East Asian culture an alternative use of floating perspectives has developed, this is recognised by cultural psychologists as indicative of the different sensitivities to contextual information. Differences in the interpretation of the visual field between Western and East Asian subjects further call into question the universal application of Albertian and Cartesian models in the design of the diagrammatic environment. Augmented reality technologies are now capable of overlaying diagrammatic information directly upon the user’s visual field. Therefore the perspectival conventions of three-dimensional visualisation techniques might potentially come to reinforce Cartesian principles, and thereby be regarded as the unjustifiable imposition of a culturally specific worldview. This paper addresses the psychological, philosophical and indeed cultural ramifications of this phenomenon.
    • Concrete Knowledge

      McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester (Darc Space, 26 North Great George’s Street, Dublin, 2016-05-17)
      Catalogue essay in exhibition catalogue.
    • Drawing as situated knowing

      McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester (Research Institute in Art, Design and Society (I2ADS), Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto, Portugal, 2014-08)
      This paper will present drawing as a knowledge generating activity that integrates perception, action and cognition. It will do so with reference to a range of theory that champions the epistemic significance of perception in knowledge generation, with particular reference to contemporary theories of ‘situated cognition’, as well as the related work of contemporary theorists like Mark Johnson and Alva Noë. The absorption of art and design education within the broader university presents many advantages, however a principal drawback is a phenomenon the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu recognises as the exclusion of métier, that is “the material determinations of symbolic practices” – including drawing – from such “scholastic universes” (Bourdieu, 2000, p.20). This, it will be argued, is a key factor in what James Elkins describes as “the incommensurability of studio art production and university life” (Elkins, 2009, p.128). Perhaps due to its neophyte status within the university, the discipline of art and design has been remarkably ineffective in countering the negative repercussions of this phenomenon. This paper will argue that it is magnified by a tendency – as outlined by Johnson – within the mainstream of Anglo-American analytical philosophy to “retain an exclusive focus on the conceptual/propositional as the only meaning that mattered for our knowledge of the world” (Johnson, 2007, p.9). This view presents language, and textual argument in particular, as representing the ‘gold standard’ in terms of a model for knowledge generation within the university. By way of counterweight, this paper will present ‘situated cognition’, a theory indebted to both Phenomenology and American Pragmatism, both of these philosophical movements run counter to mainstream epistemology. In short this paper will, in this way, make a case for the rehabilitation of drawing as an important way of knowing.
    • Drawing: Embodied and Situated Knowing

      McGuirk, Tom; University of Chester (NSU Press & Nordiskt Sommaruniversitet, 2015-09-03)