„Neurocinema Zum Wandel der Wahrnehmung“ (1996) & „Wahrnehmung im technologischen Zeitalter“ (2000) by Peter Weibel (II)

4 years later, „Wahrnehmung im technologischen Zeitalter“ (2000) goes a step further in admitting clearly that the investigation on machine-aided perception has also been a machine-aided one and that our technological apparatuses more than imitating human perception are in fact engaged in substituting it.

„Es handelte sich also in der Neuteit um die Untersuchung maschinengestützter Wahrnehmung von Welt und um die maschinegestützte Untersuchung der Wahrnehmung von Welt“ (Weibel 1996: 321)

If in the first text Weibel was interested in proving that machine-aided perception corresponds to an historical time period which was strongly machine-based, in the 2000 text he makes the point that the apparatuses of the Industrial Revolution have not simply changed the conditions of reproduction, distribution and content of books and films but perception in itself. What changed was not only the perception of the artwork in itself but the perception of reality altogether, thus introducing severe changes:

„Die Apparative Wahrnehmung einer apparativen, von Apparaten durchdrungenen Wirklichkeit erzeugte langfristig eine apparative Kunst. Wahrnehmung im technologischen Zeitalter heißt also apparative Wahrnehmung.“(Weibel 1996: 323)

The text redraws an important conclusion, that perception – under apparative conditions – falls into a point of view which almost postulates perception in itself as an apparatus. (Weibel 1996: 324) It further recognizes that the objective of technique is not only the imitation but rather the replacement of human perception.

„Die maschinelle Nachahmung der menschlicher Wahrnehmung, genauer die Apparative Nachahmung des menschlichen Wahrnehmungsapparates, gehört zum Projekt der industriellen Revolution. Die Industrialisierung der Ästhetik begann mit der Insdustrialisierung der Wahrnehmung. Dieser Industrializierung besteht also erstens aus der Analyse der natürlichen Wahrnehmung als Apparat und zweitens aus der Konstruktion ener Apparativen Wahrnehmung als technischer Reproduktion der natürlichen Wahrnehmung“ (Weibel 1996: 324)

Two conclusions could thus be summoned, according to the author. First, in the technological age, perception occurs under apparative conditions, it is machine-aided and facilitates a new perception of space, time and finally the world. Second, this apparative condition changes the perception of the perception. In a apparative perceptual world observational systems are participating systems. Machine-aided, apparative perception supports a paradigm shift from the perception-shaping by experimental psychology to perception-design by cognitive psychology and neuroscience. The transformation of the perception from natural to apparative perception in the technological age enforces the recognition of an obvious constructivism inherent to it. (Weibel 1996: 341) And also that

„Wahrnehmung ist Technologie per se – dies ist das Fazit, die Conclusio der Wahrnehmung im technologischen Zeitalter (…) eis Sinnesdatenprozessor der besonderen Art“ (Weibel 1996: 341)

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