Throughout this paper I have laid bare the reasons why the relationship between humans and machines is in need of reformulation. Continuing to design machines that utilize humans as intelligent appendages, is not a viable option for the continued development of either machine or human. We have seen the ways in which performance of one is intimately tied to performance of the other. In the same way that mono-modal machines contribute to what John Dewey called a degeneration of the human unconscious. Human’s excessive bend towards the Cartesian divide produces machine designs which are inadequate for a natural multimodal flow.
We have seen how HCI is a fundamentally flawed endeavour as it insists on viewing this relationship between the human and the machine from a single point of view inevitably generating impoverished ideas.
It is important at this point to distinguish biofeedback-based art from Computational Somatics, while the first focuses on signals from the body captured by a machine, the second doesn’t make such distinction. The other direction is also possible within Computational Somatics. That is, that a computational process be somatised in a human body.
The work of Taro Maeda in the research of GVS as an interactive interface was infused with an infectious enthusiasm about the possibilities of this technique. I was quickly taken by it and started my own research progressively becoming aware of its limitations and discovering new potentials. The idea of sharing vestibular sensation is hinted at in Maeda’s research but it is mentioned as a potential application. BRAID is the first materialization of this possibility that I am aware of.
There has been few attempts at using GVS in an artwork, but it seems the technique has become a curiosity rather than something worth exploring in depth for its expressive potential. The possibilities that Maeda laid on his papers have not yet materialized and remain in the realm of the speculative but the potential he unveiled is still untapped.
I my own experiments I realized that the fundamentally unpleasant effect of GVS, will continue to keep this technique within a reduced circle of adopters, perhaps in research and the arts and I do not foresee (at least not at the moment) an uptake of this technique among the general public for interactive experiences.
I have persisted in the pursuit of GVS despite disappointing first results, because I saw it as a means to make possible a medium for proprioceptive sensation and the BRAID system is designed with this purpose in mind. As a platform for experimentation in performance, for actors to share something that until this point has been an intimate and personal experience, one’s own sensation of balance.