The affective presence group is a loosely connected group of
researchers who are all interested in creating affective interactive
systems or devices that trigger social and emotional engagement and
reflection. Members of the group are
at Cornell, Kirsten Boehner at Cornell,
Michael Mateas from
Gaver at Goldsmiths in London,
at Cornell, and
An important issue to us in the group is to focus on the meaning that
people themselves construct in interaction with the world, artefacts
and practices. To quote on of our early papers: "Rather than
experience as something to be poured into passive users, we argue that
users actively and individually construct meaningful human experiences
around technology. They do so through a complex process of
interpretation, in which users make sense of the system in the full
context of their everyday experience." (Sengers et
al. 2004). Affective interaction as interpretation is discussed in a very interesting
paper by Boehner et al. (2005) - see below.
In my part of this work, I have (together with Petra Sundström
and Anna Ståhl) been exploring the idea of an
affective loop where users step by step interpret, become
influenced, imitate and become involved with the system, both
physically and cognitively.
The work in the affective presence group is driven by the ideas and
thoughts of the researchers mentioned above, but also by Paul Dourish
and his collegues. In particular, we are inspired by embodied
interaction in the sense discussed by Dourish in his book "Where the
Action is: Foundations of Embodied Interaction", 2002.
Phoebe Sengers, Kirsten Boehner, Geri Gay, Joseph "Jofish Kaye", Michael
Mateas, Bill Gaver, and Kristina Höök (2004) Experience as
Interpretation, In CHI 2004 Workshop on Cross-Dressing and Boundary
Crossing: Exploring Experience Methods Across the Disciplines. Vienna,
Austria, April 2004.
Kirsten Boehner, Rogerio DePaula, Paul Dourish, and Phoebe Sengers.
Affect: From Information
to Interaction. In Critical Computing 2005.