Spheres of action. The technological shift of control

Img-Journal 3 (2):40-53 (2020)
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Abstract

Social interaction and experience are defined by their action possibilities; that is, they can be analyzed from the perspective of performative control (or lack thereof), namely their dynamics of activity and passivity. What I am able to influence in my environment and what lies beyond my reach determines my disposition and identity in relation to others. In this regard, media and communication devices are not only technical forms capable of modulating physical distance, but they can also transform the structure of action possibilities, rearranging the relationship between who controls whom, between what is possible and not possible. From this standpoint, the present paper will suggest a different take on the well-known dichotomy presence/distance, reframing it through the opposition activity/passivity, or controllability/non-controllability, seen as a relevant perspective in investigating the nature of mediated experience.

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Emanuele Arielli
Istituto Universitario di Architettura (Venezia)

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