This question is a fundamental ontological and epistemological problem questioning the nature of creativity and our expression in the world. One way to know what we do not know is to ask. We can ask others, we can look into history and research the ever expanding record. Eventually however, we will reach a point where no record exists, no person knows and no study has been conducted and we will still have the burning need to know what we do not.
When this happens, we begin academic inquiry and we pass on the knowledge by recording our work. Pedagogy thus began with the technology of the drawn image and spoken language. Eventually paint and the pen became extensions of our bodies as the record of knowledge was passed down from generation to generation. The book soon took over the task of maintaining the record although soon the information became difficult to access as the record grew. The advent of the computer and the internet has made the record of the world an easy to search entirely digitized never decaying archive expanding at a rate never seen in human history.
In the process of these developments our experience has been mediated by the computer. The result is that our reality is comprised of virtual world somewhat disembodied from the physical reality. Technology should expand our limited perceptive apparatus and enhance our experience with what I call ‘perceptual prosthetics’ (like microscopes, paint brushes or musical instruments) but computers have become a perceptual impediment reducing our experiences to the small movements of our hands on a keyboard and mouse. These inherently foreign devices are separating us from the human embodied physical existence and the result is a disembodied co-existence with technology that simply uses technology to record and analyze rather than interacts and enhances our lives.
We must develop new ways of seamlessly interacting with technology including building new tactile and expressive instruments of the human/computer interface to broaden our experience with the world. We must invent new extensions of our lived experience to facilitate new experiences of human expression and discovery.