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Return of the Torch April 24, 2008

Posted by Tom Froese in General.

The current prototype of the Enactive Torch is finally back at Sussex University after completing a little world tour that took it from the WPF2008 in Basel, Switzerland, through the 3rd Ratna Ling Conference on First-Person Methods in California, to the Towards a Science of Consciousness Conference in Tucson, Arizona and back through Mexico to the UK.

Presentation of the Enactive Torch at these events was generally a success with extensive amounts of people being able to try out the device for themselves. Indeed, one of the most striking outcomes of these demonstrations is how easy it is for people to start using the Torch for navigational tasks and even start getting a sense of felt presence of external spatiality through their exploratory actions.

It also worth mentioning that Claire Petitmengin was kind enough to sacrifice some of her time at Ratna Ling to use her interview technique in order to debrief me on my experience of using the Enactive Torch. In particular we focused on the experience of what it is like to use the device in order to explore and attempt to recognize an object while blindfolded. I recorded most of this interview session such that I will be able to transcribe and analyze it in more detail. Many thanks to Claire for helping us to get this phenomenological part of the project underway!

Finally, I’m also happy to report that Ad has been keeping himself busy with working on the next prototype of the Enactive Torch, which will incorporate some more advanced features, especially in terms of data capture. This will enable us to start some psychological experiments this summer.

Pictures of some of these recent events should also be available soon!



1. Lantwit - September 19, 2008

This is an interesting project, but “Toward a Phenomenological Pragmatics” doesn’t sound right, as “Pragmatics” is plural… Maybe I’m reading it wrong, or “Pragmatics” is used as a singular noun?

2. Tom Froese - September 19, 2008

The title of the paper was inspired by the following book:

Depraz, N., Varela, F. J. and Vermersch, P. (2003), On Becoming Aware: A Pragmatics of Experiencing, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing

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