Archive for April, 2008

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Affordance as an ideality or context

April 27, 2008

There was a reference to Ilyenkov and significances as Soviet version of affordances in one paper of artifact ecologies that i wanted to check out for a while ago.

The ideal form is a form of a thing, but a form that is outside the thing, and is to be found in man as a form of his dynamic life activity, as goals and needs. Or conversely, it is a form of man’s life activity, but outside man, in the form of the thing he creates. “Ideality” as such exists only in the constant succession and replacement of these two forms of its “external embodiment” and does not coincide with either of them taken separately. It exists only through the unceasing process of the transformation of the form of activity – into the form of a thing and back – the form of a thing into the form of activity (of social man, of course).

Try to identify the “ideal” with any one of these two forms of its immediate existence – and it no longer exists. All you have left is the “substantial”, entirely material body and its bodily functioning. The “form of activity” as such turns out to be bodily encoded in the nervous system, in intricate neuro-dynamic stereotypes and “cerebral mechanisms” by the pattern of the external action of the material human organism, of the individual’s body. And you will discover nothing “ideal” in that body. The form of the thing created by man, taken out of the process of social life activity, out of the process of man-nature metabolism, also turns out to be simply the material form of the thing, the physical shape of an external body and nothing more. A word, taken out of the organism of human intercourse, turns out to be nothing more than an acoustic or optical phenomenon. “In itself” it is no more “ideal” than the human brain.

And only in the reciprocating movement of the two opposing “metamorphoses” – forms of activity and forms of things in their dialectically contradictory mutual transformations – DOES THE IDEAL EXIST.

One side-thought from it is that as different cultures construct their idealities to the same boundary objects, basically the ideality for certain objects is never disappearing, just changing. The tools or mediators, what the ideality actually represents, can objectively exits out of their creator’s culture due to being boundary objects and forming ideality to some other cultures as well.
This makes all tools boundary objects as long as several cultures hold and develop the ideality in action.

But then i came to this paper today.
The Turner paper classifies affordances into simple Gibson’s affordances and complex affordances that embody history and practice.

Very interesting is Turner’s approach to consider boundary objects as objects that are useful for different communities, and thus boundary objects represent the culturally emergent affordances.

He makes a kind of leap in his conclusion: affordances are boundary object between ‘use’ and ‘design for use’ – designed artefacts are boundary objects both between and within the communities of practice of designers and users.

He also sees that basically use, context and affordance is the same thing and refers to the elements that are part of activity systems.

It seems that very often we need to use some label, but all the labels: affordance, context, ideality are so meaning-laden in certain contexts, and a lot of confusion emerges if our theory is changed but we use still the words from the previous theories.

Affordance as context
Phil Turner
Interacting with Computers 17 (2005) 787–800

Significances are described as real and objective, but dependent on us as they are a product of our purposive, sensuous work.

Hartson (2003) has proposed a four-fold division of (simple) affordance for the purposes of designing for interaction. These four categories are (a) cognitive affordance; (b) physical affordance; (c) sensory affordance and finally, (d) functional affordance.

‘Real affordances are not nearly as important as perceived affordances; it is perceived affordances that tell the user what actions can be performed on an object and, to some extent, how to do them’ (Norman, 1988).

Perceived affordances are ‘often more about conventions than about reality’ (Norman, 1999, 124)

Turner and Turner (2002) create an explicit three layer model of affordance:
– ‘basic level’ equating with simple usability/ergonomics,
– a ‘middle layer’ matching user tasks (and/ or) embodiment and finally,
– a ‘top level’ corresponding to the purpose of the activity
for which ‘cultural affordance’ are appropriate.

Cole (1996) notes that mediating artefacts embody their own ‘developmental histories’ which is a reflection of their use. That is, these artefacts have been manufactured or produced and continue to be used as part of, and in relation to, intentional human actions.

Boundary objects (Star, 1989) are resources or artefacts which support the work of separate communities such as different departments within an organisation or even between very different communities of practice. To be useful by these different communities they must be sufficiently flexible to be used in different ways, by different people for different purpose in a range of contexts. The term ‘boundary object’ is, of course, primarily descriptive rather than a design imperative as they are seen to develop or ‘evolve’ within and between communities by embodying custom and practice.

Ilyenkov begins his argument by identifying two classes of nonmaterial phenomena namely:
1. mental phenomena such as thoughts, beliefs and feelings and
2. phenomena that are neither material nor mental—meaning and values, such as goodness.

Through human activity we idealise our world (i.e. endow it with meaning) and in so doing we also endow it with properties that come to exist completely independently of us.
As Ilyenkov puts it:
Ideality is a characteristic of things, but not as they are defined by nature, but by labour, the transforming, form-creating activity of social beings, their aim-mediated, sensuously objective activity.
The ideal form is the form of a thing created by social human labour. Or conversely, it is the form of labour realized [osushchestvlennyi] in the substance of nature, ‘embodied’ in it, ‘alienated’ in it and ‘realized’ [realizovannyi] in it, and thereby confronting its very creator as the form of a thing or as a relation between things, which are placed in this relation (which they otherwise would not have entered) by human beings, by their labour (Ilyenkov, 1977: 157).

Ideal properties such as significances are thus real, objective but not independent of us as they are products of meaning-endowing in human activity.

The ideal exists in the collective not the individual mind.
While social life is a product of the collective, it is experienced by individuals as a set of given rules, practices, tools and artefacts.

Through purposive use objects acquire significance.
Ideality is like a stamp or inscription on the substance of nature by social human activity.
A significance makes a thing knowable.

Ilyenkov notes that activity is the source of the world we inhabit and the principal expression of how we inhabit it.

Some significance has to be attached to the thing through the process of the object’s incorporation into the sphere of human activity which is not necessarily true of an affordance—particularly simple affordances.

Objects acquire this ideal content not as the result of being accessed by an individual mind, but by the historically developing activities of communities of practice.

In conclusion, from a holistic or phenomenological perspective, affordance, use and context are one. From a design perspective affordance is not an intangible, elusive property of interactive systems, it might better be thought of as a boundary object between ‘use’ and ‘design for use’ .

Cole, M., 1996. Cultural Psychology. Harvard University Press.
Ilyenkov, E. (1977) Problems of Dialectical Materialism (Translated by A. Bluden). Progress Publishers. Also available from http://www.marxists.org/archive/ilyenkov/works/ideal/ideal.htm.
Norman, D.A., 1988. The Psychology Of Everyday Things. Basic Books, NY.
Star, S.L., 1989. The structure of ill-structured solutions: boundary objects and heterogeneous distributed problem solving. In: Grasser, L., Huhns, M. (Eds.), Distributed Artificial Intelligence. Pitman, London.
Turner, P., Turner, S., 2002. An affordance-based framework for CVE evaluation, People and Computers XVII— The Proceedings of the Joint HCI-UPA Conference 2002 pp. 89–104.

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Affordance networks

April 26, 2008

Yesterday Pirkko Hyvonen mentioned an interesting paper of the affordance networks. In this paper the ecological theory of knowing is elaborated that is in line with what i have been dealing with in my research.

It seems they eventually have same idea like i developed of an activity system as the place where affordances emerge as constraints (in their case affordance network).

They assume that when connecting learners to ecological networks where they can learn through engaged participation, the affordance networks must become activated.

What is different from my understanding is that in this paper they try to use the Gibson’s effectivity term “effectivity set, he or she is more likely to perceive and interact with the world in certain ways”, but i think behind this term effectivity we should look embodied knowledge and embodied simulation processes, which have been discussed in relation to mirror neuron studies.

Effectivity coupling with affordance networks is seen by them as intentionally bound system initiated by person or by the environment (external lifeworld), but i think that according to the embodied simulation theory such system or process is activated in the mutual interaction of goals and envoronment:

Hommel (2003), assumes that action control to all behavioral acts is ecologically delegated to the environment – when planning actions in terms of anticipated goals, the sensory-motor assemblies needed to reach the goal are simultaneously selectively activated in the environment, and bind together into a coherent whole that serves as an action-plan, facilitating the execution of the goal-directed actions through the interaction between the environment and its embodied sensory-motor activations.

Curriculum-Based Ecosystems: Supporting Knowing From an Ecological Perspective
Sasha A. Barab, & Wolff-Michael Roth

Educational Researcher, Vol. 35, No. 5, 3-13 (2006)

Knowledge acquisition may be overrated and that a more important role of education is to stimulate meaningful participation (Sfard, 1998), or what we describe as effectivity/affordance
coupling.

Central to the situative perspective is the belief that one should abandon the treatment of concepts as self-contained entities and instead conceive of them as tools—tools that can be fully understood only through use.

The central tenets of this perspective with respect to knowing are that:
(a) knowing is an activity—not a thing;
(b) knowing is always contextualized—not abstract;
(c) knowing is reciprocally constructed in the individual–environment interaction—not objectively defined or subjectively created;
(d) knowing is a functional stance on the interaction—not a “truth” (Barab & Duffy, 2000).

Consistent with the situativity perspective, we argue for an ecological theory of what it means to know. Such a theory acknowledges the world as being structured to support goal-directed behaviors, while at the same time placing the realization of these meanings as part of the individual–environment relation.

Situating knowing and meaning as part of individual–environment relations, rather than solely
in the world or in the individual.

From ecological perspective, learning is a process of becoming prepared to effectively engage dynamic networks in the world in a goal-directed manner (Hoffmann & Roth, 2005).

Affordance networks, in contrast to the perceptual affordances described by Gibson, are extended in both time and space and can include sets of perceptual and cognitive affordances that collectively come to form the network for particular goal sets.

Affordance networks are not entirely delimited by their material, social, or cultural structure, although one may have elements of all of these; instead, they are functionally bound in terms of the facts, concepts, tools, methods, practices, commitments, and even people that can be enlisted toward the satisfaction of a particular goal.

In this way, affordance networks are dynamic sociocultural configurations that take on particular shape as a result of material, social, political, economic, cultural, historical, and even personal factors but always in relation to particular functions.

Affordance networks are not read onto the world, but instead continually “transact” (are coupled) with the world as part of a perception–action cycle in which each new action potentially expands or contracts one’s affordance network. Rather than separate the thinking individual from the physical environment, the ecological paradigm that underlies our thinking transcends the mind-body dualism, instead situating meaning in the dynamic transaction between mind and body.

The particular shape of a network changes with the dynamic interplay of these factors.

For a key bounding on the shape of any network for a particular individual is the effectivity set through which she comes to form relations with the network.

Connecting learners into ecological systems means coupling effectivity sets and affordance networks.

Each individual has a life-world.
The environment, from the vantage of any one individual, includes material, social, and even cultural resources, all of which share the act of successful participation.

Life-worlds are always structured in patterned ways that are functionally meaningful for an individual within some societally defined activity and are therefore inherently intelligible to others (Leont’ev, 1981; Mikhailov, 1980).

Life-world is an emergent phenomenon, with its particular shape being a result of the affordance network/effectivity set coupling, and persons’ goals being an essential factor contributing to whether a particular network becomes enlisted in supporting the emergence of one’s life-world.

Like activity systems (e.g., Engeström, 1987), affordance networks are functionally bounded, which implies that the boundaries are dependent on the intended outcome or function that they serve (i.e., they are situated with respect to the task at hand). Boundaries of a particular network lie in those aspects of a performance necessary to functionally address a particular goal to which the network has value.

For a particular individual, constraints exist in social, cultural, economic, and political factors such that they mediate whether a tool, resource, or even a particular stance can be found in her network.

An effectivity set constitutes those behaviors that an individual can in fact produce so as to realize and even generate affordance networks. When an individual has a particular effectivity set, he or she is more likely to perceive and interact with the world in certain ways—even noticing certain shapes of networks that are unavailable to others.

Effectivity sets are properties of individual–environment transactions out of which a new epistemic frame might emerge.

The dynamic coupling of an effectivity set to an affordance network forms what we refer to as an intentionally bound system. An intentionally bound system is not simply defined by the environment or the individual but emerges through the dynamic transaction that couples effectivity sets with affordance networks.

This coupling begins with an intention; whether the intention begins with the learner or the environment is inconsequential from an ecological perspective, in that the two are simply aspects of the same phenomenon.

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Learning experiences from iCamp and beyond

April 22, 2008

Today i have a talk of iCamp pedagogical trials in Wienna University to the people who organize elearning courses in this university. Its combines some preliminary and older findings. However a deeper insight is yet to come after 3rd trial ends and we can collect the activity patterns.

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social nature of language

April 16, 2008

One of the theoretical pillars is the hybrid ecology framework is embodied simulation, elaborated in the studies that Gallese refers below. His new paper, dedicated to the social nature of language is generalizing many studies. If to think how it is useful in our experimental ideas, we can think that not only texts, but also acustic or visual artifacts (eg. in Youtube) may trigger actions similarly like we believe the narratives might do.

What seems to be missing from his explanations is how these visual, acustic or verbal cues are triggering different actions ecologically same way like in the environment we evoke different affordances that let us accomplish our intentions and actions.

However, while in his experiments such non-stability shows no relation between certain type of clues and appropriate action statistically, considering this person-specific activation of certain actions seems to be necessary if we are supporting the Ecological psychology framework.

From an uncorrected proof from V. Gallese page:
Mirror neurons and the social nature of language: The neural exploitation hypothesis
Vittorio Gallese
2008

By neural exploitation, social cognition and language can be linked the experiential domain of action.

The perception of shared environment and behaviors helps in maintaining alignment between conversational partners (Clark & Wilkes-Gibbs, 1986; Pickering & Garrod, 2004).

Embodied simulation is a specific mechanism through which the brain/body system models its interactions with the world (Gallese, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006).

Besides visual input, mirror neurons are also activated during the observation of partially hidden actions, when the action outcome can be predicted – the anticipated final goal-states of the motor acts (Umilta et al., 2001).

Nonhuman primates possess the ability to deduce what others know about the world on the basis of ostensive behavioral cues, like the direction of gaze.

Embodied conceptualization mechanism grounds meaning in the situated and experience-dependent systematic interactions with the world (Gallese & Lakoff, 2005)

Barrett et al. (in press) have argued that apparent cognitive complexity of the social domain emerges from the interaction of brain, body and the world, rather than being the outcome of the level of intrinsic complexity of primate species.

Viewing social cognition as an embodied and situated enterprise offers the possibility of new neuroscientific approach to language (Clark, 1997; Barsalou, 1999; Lackoff & Johnsone, 1999).

Meaning is the outcome of our situated interactions with the world.
With the discovery of written language, meaning is amplified as it frees itself from being dependent upon specific instantions of actual experience.

Language evokes the totality of possibilities for action the world puts upon us, and structures action within a web of related meanings.

Our way of being depends what we act, how we do it, and how the world responds to us.

When we speak, by means of the shared neural networks activated by embodied simulation, we experience the presence of others in ourselves and of ourselves in others.

According to the embodiment theory the neural structures presiding over action execution should also play a role in understanding the semantic context of same actions when verbally described.
Action contributes to the sentence comprehension.

The prediction of the embodiment theory of language understanding is that when individuals listen to action-related sentences, their mirror neuron system should be modulated which should influence the primary motor cortex, henceforth the production of movements it controls.

The experimental data shows that processing sentences describing actions activates different sectors of motoneuron system, depending of the effector used in the listened action.

Silent reading of words referring to actions of arm and leg led to the activation of different sectors of pre-motor areas controlling motor acts of the body congruent with the referential meaning of the read action words (Hauk, Johnsrude & Pulvermüller, 2004).

The mirror-neuron system is involved not only in understanding visually presented actions, but also in mapping acustically or visually presented action-related sentences.

The precise functional relevance of mirror neuron system and embodied simulation in the process of language understanding remains unclear.

When in the course of evolution selective pressures led to the emergence of language, the same neural circuits in charge of controlling the hierarchy of goal-related actions might have been exploited to serve the newly acquired function of language syntax.

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amateurs and volunteered geography

April 8, 2008

An interesting paper was advertised in one of the Springer newsletters:

Citizens as sensors: the world of volunteered geography
Michael F. Goodchild
GeoJournal (2007) 69:211–221

Why i find this paper interesting is that it asks the questions why do people do this. We truly don’t believe that it is done because to make better maps. Why would an amateur geographer do it?

I would just think of processes like:
– creating niches for ourselves, for better embodiment and enaction
– playfully following some cultural practices because we can, and because the environment calls for such actions,
– leaving for ourselves mental maps to free our thinking same way as we have learned to trust the files in our computer as an extra memory?
– streaming for self-administered, personalized, user-tagged and thus more appropriately filtered content for triggering our emotions and actions

Here are some from the paper:

Why is it that citizens who have no obvious incentive are nevertheless willing to spend large amounts of time creating the content of Volunteered Geographic Information sites?

Self-promotion is clearly an important motivator of Internet activity

Public personal usage – Many users volunteer information to Web 2.0 sites as a convenient way of making it available to friends and relations, irrespective of the fact that it becomes available to all.

Personal satisfaction from seeing their own contributions appear in the growing patchwork.

While geographic naming has been centralized and standardized, and assigns no role to obscure individuals, the new web 2.0 environments have given rise to the composition of layers of new kind of volunteered geographic information.

Remote sensing with satellites has replaced mapping.

Very few people know the latitude and longitude of their home, but in normal human discourse it is place-names that provide the basis of geographic referencing.

In Wikimapia…

anyone with an Internet connection can select an area on the Earth’s surface and provide it with a description, including links to other sources. Anyone can edit entries, and volunteer reviewers monitor the results, checking for accuracy and significance.

Google Earth and Google Maps popularized the term mash-up, the ability to superimpose geographic
information from sources distributed over the Web, many of them created by amateurs.

Practicality:

A collection of individuals acting independently, using shared protocols and standards, and responding to the needs of local communities, can together create a patchwork coverage.

Networks of human sensors

Humans themselves, each equipped with some working subset of the five senses and with the intelligence to compile and interpret what they sense, and each free to rove the surface of
the planet.

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niches in hybrid ecology

April 7, 2008

We had quite a discussion on the niches in hybrid ecology with Anatole Pierre Fuksas. He assumed that novels are ecologically more evolved form of art for enaction than other types of art. In a way this argument puzzled me, because it seems that novel is a niche with more constraints for taking action and triggering emotion freely than for example symbolic art is, which has less sensory-motor action potentialities clearly defined.

One example indicating, that people like such forms that have seemingly more constraints is the learning course design – students always seem to prefer more constrained tutor-defined settings rather than free ones for self-directing their learning. In the beginning this idea did not make sense to me: why would the more constrained environment be ecologically preferred, since we know what happens with the over-specialized organisms in very specific niches – they die out as soon as something changes slightly.

Then we came to the idea that all man-made ecological niches, what novels, art or learning environments are, can be described on the axis of entanglement of emotional and action clues: symbolic art or music entangles both type of clues in one, while novels do separate emotional and action clues more clearly, as words and expressions in the narrative. So it seems we as humans rather prefer those niches, where the emotional and action clues are easily separable to be enacted.

This niche description triggered me to seek for more information of the niche concept. It seem that the feedback type of interaction of organisms with their environment creates niches both for themselves and the other organisms in the niches.

The basis of this feedback can be explained with the emergence of affordances in the interaction between the organism and the environment – the situated doing and being, as Heft (2003) explains it. Constructed embodiments (Heft calls it ecological knowledge) may be left as traces to the environment including tools, artefacts, representations, social patterns of actions, and institutions. This is how people shape their surrounding environment as an ecological niche.

The less entangled potential triggers for action and emotion there are in the niche (like in novels), the easier it is to enact in this niche, and the more probable it is that the result of these actions and emotions will be reshaping ecologically this niche through the feedback. Thus, such systems may become more evolving.

I found the book:

Niche Construction:The Neglected Process in Evolution
F. John Odling-Smee, Kevin N. Laland, & Marcus W. Feldman
2003

All living creatures, through their metabolism, their activities, and their choices, partly create and partly destroy their own niches.

Organisms interact with environments, take energy and resources from environments, make micro- and macrohabitat choices with respect to environments, construct artifacts, emit detritus and die in environments, and by doing all these things, modify at least some of the natural selection pressures present in their own, and in each other’s, local environments. This role for phenotypes in evolution is called niche construction (Odling-Smee, 1988).

Niche construction should be regarded, after natural selection, as a second major participant in evolution. Niche construction is a potent evolutionary agent because it introduces FEEDBACK into the evolutionary dynamic.

Ecosystem control is one major new idea associated with the ecological effects of niche construction. It stems from the capacity of niche-constructing organisms to modify not only their own environments but also the environments of other organisms in the context of shared ecosystems.

In order for niche construction to be a significant evolutionary process, it is not sufficient for niche-constructing organisms to modify one or more natural selection pressures in their local environments temporarily, because whatever selection pressures they do modify must also persist in their modified form for long enough, and with enough local consistency, to be able to have an evolutionary effect. Where niche construction affects multiple generations, it introduces a second general inheritance system in evolution – an ecological inheritance (Odling-Smee 1988; Odling-Smee et al. 1996) – one that works via environments.

Genetic inheritance depends on the capacity of reproducing parent organisms to pass on replicas of their genes to their offspring. Ecological inheritance, however, does not depend on the presence of any environmental replicators, but merely on the persistence, between generations, of whatever physical changes are caused by ancestral organisms in the local selective environments of their descendants. Thus, ecological inheritance more closely resembles the inheritance of territory or property than it does the inheritance of genes.

Ecological inheritance also has a lot in common with the more familiar concept of ecological succession, except that it has evolutionary, as well as ecological consequences because it involves the inheritance by populations of modified natural selection pressures, via a succession of environmental states,which may then drive further evolutionary changes in those populations.

Any organism’s selective environment is potentially modifiable by any other organism that happens to be a neighbor or that shares, or that has previously shared, some common physical aspect of a mutual environment or that is capable of exerting an indirect influence by affecting the flow of energy or materials through that environment. All such neighbors are ecologically related but they need not be genetically related.

If organisms evolve in response to selection pressures modified by themselves and their ancestors, there is feedback in the system.

The niche-construction perspective stresses two legacies that organisms inherit from their ancestors, genes and a modified environment with its associated selection pressures. Ecological and genetic ancestors are not necessarily identical.

When phenotypes construct niches, they become more than simply “vehicles” for their genes (Dawkins 1989). Animal niche construction may depend on learning and other experiential factors, and in humans it may depend on cultural processes.

Niche-constructing organisms influence the evolution of their own and other populations, often indirectly via intermediate abiotic components. Some organisms create new niches for themselves, for example, through technological innovation or relocation to a novel environment, which again can influence the dynamics of their ecosystems.

When niche construction is incorporated, information can be seen to flow through ecosystems, and evolutionary control webs begin to emerge. Human cultural activities may influence or may actually be human adaptations, or be the result of other human adaptations, cultural processes may also influence human fitness. Cultural processes are not just a product of human genetic evolution, but also a cause of human genetic evolution.

This niche conception can be related with the affordance ideas:

Chemero (2000) suggests that events are changes in the layout of affordances in the animal-environment system.

Heft (2003) writes: We engage a meaningful environment of affordances and refashion some aspects of them…These latter constructed embodiments of what is known—which include tools, artefacts, representations, social patterns of actions, and institutions—can be called ecological knowledge. Perceiving the affordances of our environment is the first order experience that is manifested in the flow of our ongoing perceiving and acting. By first order experience Heft means experience that is direct and unmediated. We are simply immersed into situated doing and being.

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Planning the course: Hybrid ecology of narratives

April 6, 2008

Last week we had several meetings in Tallinn and Helsinki among our core group to prepare the Hybrid ecology book: Anatole Pierre Fuksas, Mauri Kaipainen, Pia Tikka and myself. We plan entwined research activities and course with master students to give the ideas a better go.

We met in Helsinki at Pia’s and Mauri’s place to discuss the planned course in fall 2008 at the Tallinn University about Hybrid ecology of narratives. The planned master level course will be one of the testing grounds of the book ideas.

The main interest is to see how hybrid ecology evolves on the basis of traced clues in the virtual and real places. We plan the course activities partly as a field experiment, where students participate in planning, acting and analyzing data.

The initial story will be hidden locatively using new media based clues, and remains unknown to the students until the end of the experiment. The story may be either fictional narrative, commonly known to some extent to the participants, a film-based narrative, a social narrative based on the emotional perspectives of some real events, or even a crime story.

An interesting article about Literary places:

David Herbert 2001
Literary places, tourism and the heritage experience, in «Annals of Tourism Research», 28, pp. 312-333

The group of students, investigating this story with mobile technology and preferred reflection tools (eg. micro-blogging in Twitter, blogging or wiki tools), will be given the common starting point of the story from where they can continue guessing the storyline and building up their own reflections. They are supposed to continue the story with the necessary artifacts left into the virtual overlay of real places.

Such an activity is based on enaction: finding action and meaning-related clues in the real places, taking action or being emotionally involved by these clues, and contributing to the environment accordingly.

The initial story is embodied and enacted differently by each participant. Thus it would be possible to see how the enacted emotions and actions dynamically shape the hybrid ecology.

In the process of enaction the involved people get traces of each others’ actions and emotions, and their interpretations of the story. Such enaction based locative awareness calls for more involvement, and may lead to the interaction between participants and the formation of the enactive clusters around the locative story.

Such hybrid places, where stories can be embodied and enacted, have many dimensions depending of the users. These dimensions will appear and can be made visible if different content was locatively tagged by the users with soft ontology means either embodied knowledge based, that involves clues to the accompanied emotions and actions, or knowledge based, which involves our systems of activated concepts.

If participants have access to such soft ontological dimensions of the hybrid ecology, they can interact more. Also, besides the locatively situated artifacts, triggering their action and emotions, the ontological dimensions as whole will be perceived and enacted accordingly.

The tools that can be used at this course are locative maps (eg. Googlemaps), social software (Flickr, Youtube, blogs, wikis, microblogs) and analytical tools what enable to locatively tag embodied knowledge and select meaning or action perspectives withing the hybrid ecology (Montagemaker, Soft ontology tool etc.).

What is interesting in this experiment from the research point of view:
– due to embodied cognition and person-specific enaction different stories would emerge from the clues of the one initial story
– monitoring the hybrid ecology as an evolving system
– the rise of different meaning and activity spaces within the hybrid ecology that call for the formation of the communities of enaction
– persons as hybrid and distributed selves within hybrid ecology: interrelations between persons, their action traces, meaning-making traces, and various parallel dimensions of the hybrid ecology.

Some interesting ideas:
– not linear narratives with start and end but branched stories with many ends
– searching for someone, while also making side trips
– narrative as a quest game
– storylines and crossing path with characters
http://johnitc.wordpress.com/2007/10/24/digital-locative-storytelling/

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