Rewilding Wearables: Sympoietic Interfaces for Empathic Experience of Other-than-human Entities.

Abstract

This project involves a series of walks in rewilded environments mediated by a wearable interface that enables the interlocutor to perceive the environment from an alien perspective. The aim is to foster empathy for other-than-human entities and promulgate holistic and biodiverse ecologies. Technocrafting the prosthetic device from organic and electronic materials by blending traditional with digital techniques, create devices that the authors term ‘cyborganic’. The focus of this paper is a device that sits as if grafted around the human head, and appears to come to life embodied with its own sense of ‘agency’. This paper describes the 1st and 2nd generation prototype of this device and its current configuration as an aid for empathetic experience of insects in rewilded spaces. To conclude we describe a testing methodology developed in Aarhus based on a series of walks with users where they engage in semi-structured interviews post-walk to evaluate their experience.

Authors Patricia Flanagan & Raune Frankjaer (2018).
In Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (pp. 611-616). ACM.

Full text can be found here: RewildingWearables_flanagan_frankjaer.pdf