The symbiogenic experience: towards a framework for understanding humanmachine coupling in the interactive arts | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1477-965X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9533


This article outlines a research agenda that addresses the question of how contemporary interactive arts practice can evolve new strategies or ways of facilitating the development and representation of subjective experiences that induce an embodied felt sense of the humanmachine co-evolution. To help answer this question, the term symbiogenic has been created as a shorthand or umbrella term to better discuss these types of experiences and the concepts they introduce. The term symbiogenic is taken from symbiogenesis, the evolutionary theory introduced in 1909 by Russian biologist Konstantin Mereschkowsky and expanded in the modern era by Dr. Lynn Margulis (1993, 1981). This theory emphasizes cooperation and other more complex interactions between organisms that go beyond mere competition. The research starts from the conception that there currently exists a range of interactive artworks that examine and engage with the increasing cooperation and co-evolution that humans are experiencing with their technological environment. However, what is proposed is that interactive or technological art can go further and provoke a bodily felt sense of this dynamic and thus bring into greater consciousness the co-dependent and co-evolutionary path of our relationship with technology. It is believed that these experiences can be both developed and identified within an artistic context but they lack a cohesive conceptual framework from which to study and analyse them.


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