Embodied Being: Examining Tool Use in Digital Storytelling

Stacey O. Irwin


In this interconnection of embodied being and environing world, what happens in the interface is what’s important. At least that is the way a phenomenological perspective takes shape. Ihde, 2002, p. 8.

We are embodied beings. Our flesh, our manner of being in the world as an intertwining of perceiver and perceived is a notion that makes it possible for us to articulate the human body with respect to its ontological dimensionality and the claim it has within the lived world. This claiming is our being-in-the-world and it is situated in the understanding of the Self. This fleshly schema called the body is a “opening and clearing, in the multi- dimensional field of Being, for it articulates the embodiment-character of our responsiveness and elicits its potential for development on the basis of our initial, most primordial sense of Being-in-the-world.” (Lakoff & Johnson, 1999, p. 62). As such, our everyday life takes place within this opening and clearing of personal space and personal movement. In this Being in the World, through history, humans have told oral then written stories to solidify culture and share knowledge for the future. Our Being-in-the-world comes through story. A different part of Being also intertwines with technology. When story and technology meet, digital stories are born. This theoretical reflection aims to connect the philosophy of technology and new media theory to clarify the role of digital processes in the storytelling, and explore the notion of techne.

A variety of perspectives work to shed light on the phenomenological notion called Being- in-the-world-with-technology. Latour (2005) Giltrow (2002) Ihde (2002) and Orlikowski (2001) contribute to unpacking the interaction and relationship between humans and technology to identify the materials artifacts, characteristics of human agents, and context. This reflection aims to flesh out new media perspectives about digital storytelling through the phenomenological work of Gadamer, Heidegger, Ihde, Leder, Merleau Ponty, with concepts of mediation, mediatization, embodiment, motility, praxis, context, and aesthetic stance toward techne. 


Technological other; Digital storytelling; Phenomenology; Embodiment; Techne

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