November 24, 2009

Kozel, Susan.  Closer: performance, technologies, phenomenology.  MIT Press, Spain 2007

From the chapter “Responsivity out of Interactivity”:

The chapter discusses the differences between the two terms, especially that interactivity is purposive and conclusive, while responsive covers other human states and actions.  This means that interaction is largely limited to current modes of thinking about technology, such as the interaction between human and computer.  Responsiveness also continues even when the system malfunctions; interactivity only exists in the proper sense, in that a state of interaction much be achieved, while the failures beforehand are not interactive states.  Responsivity in this chapter is clearly the more useful term and the one which is more complex.  Interactivity is, as described above, limited to specific instances.

“Responsivity is more effective than interactivity at describing the moment of sensory experience within the installation”.

Interactivity has more to do with an interface, with a human input and the wait for a response.  It is purposive, and leads to something in particular.  It is also important to note that it uses a medium within which the interaction occurs, such as a computer.  This is to say that there is a ‘correct’ response in interactivity, so that in the case of failure or incorrect function, interaction does not occur in a sense.  This differs from reponsivity, which does not require a certain response or action.  Responsivity also has no requirement for physical reactions or a sense of decision making.  A final point of the author is that during an interaction or responsive environment of which one is aware of his or her participation, one can only respond in a responsive environment, but the ability to alter the rules is a feature of interactivity.


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