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First published online September 1, 2008

Médiations techniques des interactions perceptives: rencontres tactiles dans les environnements numériques partagés

Résumé

Résumé

Dans quelles conditions une médiation technique permet-elle à des sujets de se rencontrer et de se reconnaître? Dans les réseaux numériques, les espaces virtuels de travail collaboratif et de jeu donnent lieu à des interactions entre des utilisateurs distants. Mais dans quelle mesure ces interactions permettent-elles à chacun de reconnaître la présence d'autres sujets percevants? Pour étudier cette question nous utilisons des dispositifs de suppléance perceptive (systèmes de substitution sensorielle). En effet, ces prothèses perceptives représentent une situation extrême, bien révélatrice de la façon dont les technologies transforment nos capacités perceptives. Ici, elles permettent l'étude des conditions d'existence du croisement perceptif, c'est-à-dire d'une situation qui donne aux sujets la possibilité de se reconnaître mutuellement. Pour mener cette recherche nous proposons un paradigme expérimental minimaliste construit à l'aide du système `Tactos'. Ce dispositif de suppléance perceptive a été développé pour donner une perception tactile des formes numériques présentes sur l'écran de l'ordinateur. La mise en réseau de dispositifs de ce type permet aussi des interactions tactiles entre des utilisateurs distants (on parle de caresses distales). La version minimale de ce dispositif permet une étude expérimentale et une analyse précise des interactions perceptives. Ces expériences nous conduisent à suggérer quelques conditions nécessaires pour la constitution de l'expérience vécue de croisements perceptifs: la présence pour chacun d'un corps-image perceptible par les autres utilisateurs; un lien direct entre l'activité perceptive et la dynamique de ce corps-image; et l'absence de perception par chacun du corps-image qu'il présente aux autres utilisateurs.

Abstract

In what conditions does a technical mediation allow subjects to meet and to recognize each other? In digital networks, virtual spaces of collaborative work and play give rise to interactions at a distance between users. But to what extent do these interactions allow each partner to recognize the living presence of other perceiving subjects? In order to study this question, we use perceptual supplementation devices (more commonly known as sensory substitution systems). These devices for prosthetic perception represent an extreme situation, which is highly revealing as to the way that technological devices transform our perceptual capacities. Here, they make it possible to identify the conditions for the existence of perceptual crossing, i.e. a situation which makes it possible for two subjects to recognize each other. To carry out this research, we propose a minimalist experimental paradigm, constructed with the aid of the `Tactos' system. This perceptual supplementation device has been developed in order to give a tactile perception of digital forms present on the screen of a computer. When two such devices are connected in a network, they also allow tactile interactions between users at a distance (one can speak of distal caresses). The minimal version of this device gives scope for an experimental study and a precise analysis of the perceptual interactions. These experiments lead us to suggest several conditions which seem necessary for the constitution of a lived experience of perceptual crossing: the presence for each partner of a body-image perceivable by the other participants; a direct link between the perceptual activity and the dynamics of this body-image; and the impossibility for each partner to themselves perceive the body-image they present to the other participants.

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1.
1. `La compréhension des gestes s'obtient par la réciprocité de mes intentions et des gestes d'autrui, de mes gestes et des intentions lisibles dans la conduite d'autrui. Tout se passe comme si l'intention d'autrui habitait mon corps ou comme si mes intentions habitaient le sien. Le geste dont je suis le témoin dessine en pointillé un objet intentionnel. Cet objet devient actuel et il est pleinement compris lorsque les pouvoirs de mon corps s'ajustent à lui et le recouvrent' (Merleau-Ponty, 1945: 215—16).
2.
2. `Ainsi suis-je renvoyé de transfiguration en dégradation et de dégradation en transfiguration, sans jamais pouvoir ni former une vue d'ensemble de ces deux modes d'être d'autrui … ni me tenir fermement à l'un d'entre eux — car chacun a une instabilité propre et s'effondre pour que l'autre surgisse de ses ruines' (Sartre, 1943: 336).

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Article first published online: September 1, 2008
Issue published: September 2008

Keywords

  1. Croisements perceptifs (Perceptual crossing)
  2. Environnements virtuels collaboratifs
  3. Interactions perceptives
  4. Suppléance perceptive
  5. Substitution sensorielle

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History

Published online: September 1, 2008
Issue published: September 2008

Authors

Affiliations

Charles Lenay
Groupe Suppléance Perceptive, COSTECH UTC-Compiègne, BP60319 60206 Compiègne Cedex, France, [email protected]

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