Mediated Pointing and the Corporeal Field

Spagnolli Anna
Gamberini Luciano
Renὸ Lucia
Language of the article : English
DOI: 10.3406/intel.2005.1721
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‘Pointing’ is the act of identifying a referent by positioning a body part in spatial contiguity with it. The present paper considers the case of pointing performed with the aid of a digital tool controlled by the user’s movements, to discuss its nature against the background of current definitions of pointing. The discussion is supported by an examination of actual occurrences of mediated pointing, including video-re­cordings of people who point at digital objects on a computer screen with a white ar­row controlled by their mouse. The qualitative analysis of these examples, and the use of various transcription techniques, suggests that when the user is familiar with the device, body and tool are not separate pieces, but a whole hybrid unit with its own spatio-temporal coordinates, that produces nonverbal actions synchronized with speech. Therefore, from a pragmatic perspective, pointing in a digital space with a de­vice controlled by the body can be considered as a genuine pointing gesture, produced by an augmented corporeal field. By integrating the human body with technical pros­theses, the user can be genuinely present on spaces otherwise inaccessible.

Pour citer cet article :

Spagnolli Anna, Gamberini Luciano, Renὸ Lucia (2005/2-3). Mediated Pointing and the Corporeal Field. In Mondada Lorenza (Eds), Space, inter/action & cognition, Intellectica, 41-42, (pp.55-74), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2005.1721.