Tactics of Interfacing | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University
Tactics of Interfacing by Ksenia Fedorova
336 pages
August 2020

Tactics of Interfacing

Encoding Affect in Art and Technology

Author(s): Ksenia Fedorova

How digital technologies affect the way we conceive of the self and its relation to the world, considered through the lens of media art practices.

In Tactics of Interfacing, Ksenia Fedorova explores how digital technologies affect the way we conceive of the self and its relation to the world. With the advent of ubiquitous computing, the self becomes an object of technological application, increasingly defined by data received from tracking technologies. Subtly, these technologies encourage versions of ourselves that are easier to interpret computationally. Fedorova views these shifts in self-perception through the lens of contemporary media art practices, examining a range of artistic tactics that enable embodied and intimate experiences of machinic operations on our lives.

At the center of Fedorova's analysis are the mechanisms that structure the relations between the self and the world at the level of the interface; she considers “interfacing” a process in which interrelation happens and different agencies play off against each other. She discusses such topics as interfaciality and the face as a medium; self-image and the boundaries of the self, understood through technological mediation of an embodied experience; the relation between the self and the other, reshaped by algorithmic technologies; and the augmentation and alteration of spatial perception.

The artworks Fedorova discusses present scenarios of interfacing that range from responsive environments to artificial intelligence conversational agents. She shows that art and aesthetic experience offer fruitful ways to reflect on the effects of contemporary technological culture, enabling encounters that shift our perspectives on the boundaries of the self and challenge the very capacity to feel human.