doing interface ecology: the practice of metadisciplinary


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Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

  • The interface can be modeled as a an ecosystem: connected, dynamic, and characterized by relationships. The model is predicated on a process of working with the interface as a border zone between heterogeneous systems of representation. This paper uses sensation, embodiment, and semiotics to initiate this process, by addressing the range of systems of representation that are involved in its own production. This presence of the theorist is found to create a self-referential metastructure. As an alternative to the beneficial but ad hoc assemblages of multi-, inter, and trans-disciplinary approaches, the ecosystems approach establishes that meshing of systems of representation is an inherent property of interface phenomena. The meshing process causes elements from the involved representational systems to recombine, forming hybrids. Recombinant information is a structural formula for creating new knowledge, which can be invoked for that purpose, intentionally. Theorists are part of the environment that they theorize about. The products of theorizing are information artifacts that are also part of the environment. They themselves function as interfaces. The term “metadisciplinary” is developed to describe the inherent and self-referential nature of this structure. The structure of metadisciplinarity connects theory and practice. This stands in direct contrast with studies approaches, such as performance studies, which is separate from theater practice.


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