What is perception? Our relationship with new media objects.

When approaching a new media art exhibition, there are many challenges facing the curator, artists, and the viewers. The role of the objects in the exhibition is to inform the viewer of an intelligent conversation between object and subject that was inspired by artists and collected by the curator. In its nature, new media art is untraditional. The same concepts of curating a collection of paintings do not apply to objects of new media, of which can be of any media.

New media is defined by the critical involvement of technologies that explore the intersection of viewership and digital influences. The belief that objects are ideas to be perceived by subjects means that the subject’s role of viewer is decisive of allowing the object to continually exist.

To understand your role within the context of this experience, you must be willing to explore a critical analysis of viewership.

What is an object?
The object is the thing that inspires interaction with a subject. It is important simply by existing in its physical, perceptive form as it stimulates the needs of the consumer, collector, user, and actor. What separates an object from any ordinary “thing” is its phenomena of perception as conjured by a subject.1 Thus, objects are entities that a subject projects desire and necessity, supporting the theory of objectivity and establishing objecthood.

Not only does the object have a life of its own, but our lives as subjects depend on it.2 Today, more than ever, the use of mechanical reproduction has universalized objects and reaffirmed objectivity in the relation to a subject’s desires. Objects of reproduction constitute a means of necessity in everyday use as defined by the subjects who reproduce them, and show that objects have powers over and above the subjects that compose them.3

What is a subject?
Typically we view a subject to be something that is dependent on another entity for action and meaning. This is true in instances when “subject” is used as a noun, verb, adverb, or adjective. Applying it in relation to an object, it is clear that the subject is the active being that holds the power of life and perception. It is an integral component of the empirical object-world, defined by its capacity for experience and individual consciousness. Between the object and subject, the subject opens dialogue with an object and bridges an identity between the two.4 Your role as the subject has been fulfilled the moment you reach the decision to react to the object before you. You are the consumer, collector, and user.

Why is object-subject connectedness important to new media?
New media is defined by the critical involvement of technologies that explore the intersection of viewership and digital influences. The belief that objects are ideas to be perceived by subjects means that the subject’s role as viewer is decisive of allowing the object to continually exist.

In contemporary studies, new media art offers an untraditional experience of object-seeing as a complete sensory experience that immerses the subject in an exploration of viewer perception and expectation. This exhibition aims to create an ephemeral vessel dedicated to the study of untraditional visual experiences, allowing subjects to explore their perceived connectedness to objects as new ideas.

Does the object of perception exist without the involvement of a subject?
Perception cannot exist on its own. It can only be created by a subject. The object will always exist, but it cannot establish a purpose without perception. More important than the individual manifestation of the object and the subject is their influence on each other. Neither the subject nor the object can exist without the other. Both entities universally are and are not.5

Object and subject have been removed from the traditional setting and placed within a new one with different meaning. With the power as a subject, a new perception must be created through interaction and experience of the object. This then is where object-subject connectedness is created. It is up to the subject to decide the role of the object within the context of their environment, because when the object is removed from its traditional location it is perceived as subject-independent.6 The characteristics of the object itself, however, have not changed, and therefore still exist according to its perception of the subject.

References

  1. 1. Hudek, Antony. “Introduction//Detours of Objects.” The Object. Ed. Antony Hudek. London: Whitechapel Gallery. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2014. 15. Print.
  2. 2. Hudek, Antony. “Introduction//Detours of Objects.” The Object. Ed. Antony Hudek. London: Whitechapel Gallery. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2014. 23. Print.
  3. 3. Miller, Kristie. “Thing and Object.” The Object. Ed. Antony Hudek. London: Whitechapel Gallery. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2014. 64. Print.
  4. 4. Adorno, Theodor W. “On Subject and Object.” The Object. Ed. Antony Hudek. London: Whitechapel Gallery. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2014. 30. Print.
  5. 5. Adorno, Theodor W. “On Subject and Object.” The Object. Ed. Antony Hudek. London: Whitechapel Gallery. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2014. 31. Print.
  6. 6. Siegel, Susanna. “Subject and Object in the Contents of Visual Experience.” Philosophical Review 115.3 (2006): 358. Web.

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