Recorded at UKC Psychedelics Society, University of Kent, Dec 8th 2015
How can we develop and use emerging hybrid technologies to induce non-ordinary states of consciousness? Hybrid reality combines the affordances of the analogue with the affordances of the digital. Any experience in which the physical and the digital dimensions of reality are successfully merged can be considered hybrid. We continue to see ourselves as separated from the environment. Through the development of hybrid technologies can we hack the individual's sense of self and relationship to the world? Can we adapt and transform the dominant perceptive regimen, which is still based on the Cartesian subject-object separation? We are entering a new perceptual paradigm where form, content, and context are merging. As a result radical new forms of awareness are becoming available. Context engineering creates a new economy where we focus less on transforming content (as the primary activity), and more on how we can make our own perception the content. This is made possible by new advances in various fields including biotech, neuro-electronics and mixed reality technologies meaning that the lenses through which we experience the world are becoming more adjustable than ever. Context Engineering produces ‘experience coders’ who manufacture content as direct sensory experience (context). One of the core concerns of Context Engineering is whether we can gain a significantly greater capacity to develop and influence our brain function and crucially if that will then help us to better understand the reality that the brain creates. As a result there is an ethical responsibility to context engineer with as much knowledge of the affordances and dangers of these technologies and techniques as possible. We will examine which technologies; techniques and methodologies can be used to enable these new types of context (alternative conscious states).
Adjusting and combining senses; creating new auditory systems such as bionic hearing and new visual systems such as macroscopic navigation, 360 degree vision, new types of perspective (including 3rd and 4th person perspective).
Carl H Smith is Director of the Learning Technology Research Centre (LTRC) and Senior Lecturer in Creative Coding, Learning Technologies and Research based at Ravensbourne. His background is in Computer Science and Architecture. He is an academic expert and developer with over fourteen year's experience conducting R+D into the application of hybrid technologies for perceptual and cognitive transformation. He is working on the newly funded Horizon 2020 project '[WEKIT] Wearable Experience for Knowledge Intensive Training’ which will use the latest in wearable and motion tracking technology to create ‘wearable experience’ - an entirely new form of media. He has also worked on a number of large scale FP7 and Leonardo Life Long Learning European projects. His research interests include Embodied Cognition, Spatial Literacy, Perceptual Technology and Human Centric methodologies and Pedagogies.