subjects can be made into objects, and inversely, objects into subjects

Whitehead’s intervention into the trappings of language is of use to critical HCI for two main reasons. First, we see how the subject predicate trap is already at work in the research focus on situated interactions where, for example, it might be said that the user experiences the smooth ergonomics of the mouse, so that the subject user is situated by their experience of the public object. As a counterintuitive alternative, Whiteheadian subjects can be made into objects, and inversely, objects into subjects. The notion that objects can experience subjects, as is the case when a well-designed mouse experiences the hand of the user, should not perhaps be an entirely alien design concept in tangible computing or ergonomics. However, by drawing on Whitehead’s reinvention of terms like feeling, emotion, satisfaction, and enjoyment theorists are able to develop effective ways to account for the relationalities of experience not yet adequately realized, so that it might be possible to conjure up a concept of the mouse feeling the warmth of the user’s hand. The subject does not simply know the object, but is provoked into knowing by the experience of the object.....there is no dichotomy between the human and what is experienced, and ultimately, in this non-bifurcated sense-making assemblage, nature is closed to mind.

Sampson, T.D. AI & Soc (2018).

Kyla Tompkins