Spatiotemporal trajectories

The structure of communication between people is not only defined by the sharing of place and time, but also by the capacity to recognize other beings spatiotemporal trajectories. Being a witness to other people’s presence starts before the moment of interaction. It is pre-linguistic in that sense.

The perception of other human beings movements influences how a witness performs his or her own presence as a consequence. The configuration of space and time defines the space of observation, and defines how the witness’ presence is performed as well. In natural presence this process of ‘staging’ presence in relation to the witnesses around, is very different from staging presence in mediated environments.
The perception and experience of space and time have been part of human existence. In arts as well as in the sciences human kind has been struggling to understand and express these fundamental dimensions of life. The current presence technologies challenge this understanding and experience in unprecedented ways. When focusing on witnessed presence in the context of presence technologies all of the questions about space and time that have ever been asked seem relevant. When trying to understand what happens in a specific situation, when being a witness, those questions have to be asked again because an apparent simple transcending of time and or place actually deeply transforms the concepts that human beings recognize and therefore the way presence is performed as well.