First off, I will just say that I found this paper to be pretty dense. I found myself reading and re-reading sections and still not really fully clear as to exactly what was being discussed. First, somaesthetics to me wasn’t 100 percent clear. The author mentioned the physical body, but he also mentioned other aspects such as cognitive functions and other physiological functions. It would appear that a lot of what is mentioned relates specifically to cognition and almost felt life qualities. This seems much broader than the seemingly limited term of somatics as a base vocabulary word, but I digress…
One particular quote that stuck out to me quite a bit was the one at the bottom of page 268:
“If self-knowledge (rather than mere knowledge of worldly facts) is philosophy’s prime cognitive aim, then knowledge of one’s bodily dimension must not be ignored. Concerned not simply with the body’s external form orrepresentation but also with its lived experience, somasthetics works at improving awareness of our bodily states and feelings, thus providing greater insight into both our passing moods and lasting attitudes.
To me, this seems very out of second and third wave HCI. It reminded me of second wave and the situated actions paper because it specifically mentioned the lived experience. It reminded me of third wave from the obvious linkage to aesthetic experience as both are pretty prevalent terms throughout the paper.
It’s almost as if the paper is itself a direct attack on first wave HCI. The obvious references to Dewey are definitely familiar to anyone with seminal work knowledge of HCI, but it also is attempting to bring in a person’s past experiences when perceiving art. It’s not longer just about having the trained eye to be able to notice certain things, it also is now trying to argue that a person will have their own perceptions (which are no less genuine that another person’s with different life experiences) and thus their own takeaways from art.
That was at least my two cents about what I thought the paper was roughly trying to say. Hopefully it makes sense to others and wasn’t too much of a stream of consciousness to read!