This little paragraph of mine is from the early ’90s and still catches an idea that drives much of my understanding of psychotherapy.
Theories and Metphors of Cyberspace – Abstracts: “Necessity and Metaphor
My posting about skeuomorphism in the last post, and earlier this year, is not just because I’m an Apple user (I won’t say fan). It iOS because it is related to my long interest in metaphor. (You can see all my posts with this tag by clicking the Metaphor tag at the bottom of this post).
What I liked about the article in the previous post is that it makes a distinction between skeuomorphism that assists usability, when it assisted in the early days. and now when it might even obscure things.
The the tricky thing that a purist would face if they were to avoid skeuomorphism altogether is that it is impossible. Online it is ALL metaphor, all abstraction.
There is very little if anything that is native to the digital world. Digits, for example.
This principle applies even to abstractions in ordinary language:
These words can all go well beyond their literal meaning.
This is of interest as it has deep implications for psychological work.
The psyche, like cyberspace is immaterial and we use metaphors from the material world to talk about the invisible
What touched you?
have a heart.
The psyche is not the body. We use metaphase from the body to describe it.
The current wave of bring research is fascinating but it is not related to the psyche, there is a huge category mistake being foisted upon the psychotherapy world.
The question is of interest too in relation to creativity
We use brushes in digital art programs, and they can use watercolour or oils. Where is the native digital form? (there are some!) Light is used to create ‘depth’ backup creating fake shadows. The glossy icons apple uses are created using fake shine. (Will Jony Ives remove that?)
While we have electronic music it is mostly through skeuomorphic instruments that we create it.
Always, no sometimes, think it’s me, but you know I know when it’s a dream.
I think I know I mean a ‘Yes’ but it’s all wrong, that is I think I disagree.
Let me take you down, ‘cos I’m going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hungabout.
Strawberry Fields forever.
Strawberry Fields forever.
This could with a bit of luck spell the end of skeuomorphism at apple.
Just exploring a few rethinks I don’t understand…
“By answering the question concerning technology with a sensuous mimetic account of presubjective embodied agency, Benjamin opens a path that can help technocultural critics dispel their residual (and, as I have argued, largely unthematized) commitment to representationalism.
From the Wikipedia page on Tonino Griffero
Whereas Heidegger’s moods always presuppose a subjective response, we see atmospheres (in this provocative, anti-subjective sense) not as internal feelings of an individual or metaphors but as pre-subjective feelings, as spatially extended emotions.
I can’t yet make sense of that.
Mimetics seems to relate to Dawkins memes – see Wikipedia but the idea I’m pursuing here is more related to…
In ancient Greece, mimesis was an idea that governed the creation of works of art, in particular, with correspondence to the physical world understood as a model for beauty, truth and the good. Plato contrasted mimesis, or imitation, with diegesis, or narrative. After Plato, the meaning of mimesis eventually shifted toward a specifically literary function in ancient Greek society, and its use has changed and been re-interpreted many times since then.
This is interesting too…
The Frankfurt school critical theorist T.W. Adorno made use of mimesis as a central philosophical term, interpreting it as a way in which works of art embodied a form of reason that was non-repressive and non-violent.
Benjamin was of that school, was he not? Makes me think the opening quote really should read Mimesis.
This exploration stems from reading an interview in Mousse magazine 34 with Amy Balkin
atp: Are you also interested in the pre-subjective and in rendering it transparent?
ab: Yes, I’m influenced by how Philip K. Dick’s characters build models or prefigurative spaces. These can be nostalgic, like Dick’s “babylands” of the super-rich, who build and curate satellite demesnes to mimic a specific lost place and time of their childhood (e.g. Washington, D.C. in 1935), or the miniaturized “layouts” of off-world settlers forcibly evicted to colonize Mars, where a proxy experience of a day out in pre-climate change San Francisco is accessed through drug-enhanced “translation,” but experientially structured by the interior decor of a miniature home layout.
“A model provides a vision to inhabit, whether for a desired political future or a nostalgic past, or some combination of these—a form of continuity. So the pre-subjective could be about the possible experience of a future loss of the familiar via climate change—familiar birds and plants,
landscapes or food, or the familiar in terms of ideas of shared spaces or notions of experiential commonality, whether as a park or some formulation for an equitably shared space. So perhaps the question for me would be about a commons as a way forward versus nostalgia for a kind of shared land and resource use that was historically situation-specific.
This makes more sense, but I’m still not really a member of this discourse domain.
Was that story by Philip K Dick the basis for True Lies? No, I think the reference is to Now wait for last year but is could have been, seems like they pinched a few ideas. And they did use a Philip K Dick story for the other Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Total Recall. Perhaps the novel and the short story have a similar theme.
The following serendipitously found its way here…
Part of recent explorations in In this moment… my art blog
I recall being advised by my then supervisor, about 30 years ago, to look around for a psychotherapy modality that grabbed me and then to learn it thoroughly and not become prematurely eclectic. I followed that advice. Psychodrama was that modality for me and I am steeped in its traditions and have practiced it for decades and hope to do that for a few more.
However I have more than a passing familiarity with a some other fields of practice, I have a grasp of Archetypal Psychology and I am qualified in Imago Relationship Therapy. I have grappled with my multiple perspectives, and have written a paper about my tension with Imago for the AANZPA Psychodrama Journal: The Imago Affair. I’ve been thinking about this more of late.
I found this on the WayBack machine & thought I already had it in this blog, but it seems not. I will change the creation date so it show up as an old archive… sometime/maybe.
Be interesting to see what links still work?
Seems they all go to the wayback Machine.
I’m editing my 2003 essay Archetypes of Cyberspace and to fix the dead links I go to the Internet Archive – and find material I read a decade or so a go. I value this stuff!
Here is a concise statement about Archetypal psychology. Worth knowing about!
If Apple made a car would it have wheels like this?
Skeuomorphic thinking may work on occasions but on the whole it is bad. Fake spokes.
Like the fake leather in apple apps. Ugh.
The calendar app does it right on the interface, it tells me it is Wednesday 25! Just right.
Jobs invented the “desktop” metaphor (Or so its said), it is a guide in a place where nothing is real.