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Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology, and Bodies (Book Overiew)
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Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology, and Bodies (Book Overiew)

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Overview of the core elements of my book Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology and Bodies, released by Routledge in early 2012. ...

Overview of the core elements of my book Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology and Bodies, released by Routledge in early 2012.

http://www.amazon.com/Artificial-Culture-Identity-Technology-Routledge/dp/0415899168/

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    Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology, and Bodies (Book Overiew) Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology, and Bodies (Book Overiew) Presentation Transcript

    • Artificial Culture:Identity, Technology, and Bodies An Overview Tama Leaver
    • Book Structure Introduction Section I: Artificial Intelligence Section II: Artificial Life Section III: Artificial Space Section IV: Artificial People Section V: Artificial Culture Conclusion
    • Introduction Contexts:  Cybernetics (Norbert Wiener and Alan Turing)  Mind Children (Hans Moravec)  N. Katherine Hayles (‘Materiality of Informatics’)  Asimov (Three Laws of Robotics)
    • I. Artificial Intelligence Context: AI Research; ‘top-down’ replication of the human mind. Texts: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970), Demon Seed (1977) and the four Terminator films (1984, 1991, 2003, 2003, 2009). AIs are always-already embodied in the way they are imagined in popular culture.
    • 2001 Stills
    • Terminator Stills
    • II. Artificial Life ALife Research: Bottom-up ‘evolutionary’ approach to informatic life. Framing narrative: Visible Human Project. Key texts: Greg Egan’s Permutation City (1994) & Diaspora (1997). Key points: artificial life is imagined as ‘other’ (replicating/challenging colonial metaphors) and ‘life’ is only ‘meaningful’ in the face of finitude.
    • III. Artificial Space Explores ‘spaces’ in William Gibson’s Bridge trilogy (Virtual Light, 1993; Idoru, 1996; All Tomorrow’s Parties, 1999). Argues that spaces of resistance exist interstitially in both material and digital cultures. The Walled City paralleled with Wikileaks. Rei (Idoru) & nanofax = nanotechnology challenging material/informatic divide.
    • IV. Artificial People Argument: both at narrative and production levels, informatic bodies are deeply material and embodied. Narrative reading: Matrix franchise (digital bodies matter, finitude once more re Neo/Smith finale). Production reading: Lord of the Rings production, through special effects fan cultures, focuses on WETA’s Massive software and synthespians (ie Gollum).
    • Matrix trilogy stills
    • The informatic Cave Troll’s stages of development (from left to right, top to bottom): Conceptual art; the clay maquette; the fully detailed model being scanned for a computersurface model; a wireframe surface; a Cave Troll skeleton; and a muscle-bound Cave Troll in search of its skin. [Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring: Extended Edition]
    • Gollum; a pre-rendered Gollum; and Andy Serkis’ reference shot. [Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers: Extended Edition]
    • Andy Serkis in a motion-capture suit, and the fully rendered Gollumcomposited using keyframe animation and the motion information captured. [Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers: Extended Edition]
    • V. Artificial Culture Context: ‘artificial’ post-September 11? Context: Hollywood, 2002 Oscars (Nora Ephron post-Towers New York montage). Context: Spider-Man as New York ‘everyman’. Texts: Spider-Man (2002, 2004, 2007) trilogy. Resistance to ‘911’, bodies as metaphors, Spider- Man as ‘diplomat’, artificial culture as questioning (but ambiguous) re Iraq etc.
    • Spider-Man stills from Marvels
    • Original 2001Spider-Man trailer
    • 9/11 Spider-Man tribute comic
    • Spider-Man trilogy stills
    • Conclusion Symbiotic connection between people, techology and bodies. Politics of ambiguity (ie no absolutes). Uses Wall-E and Avatar to link to environmental concerns and utility of ‘artificial culture’ as linking everything.
    • Find the book … More information: http://www.tamaleaver.net/artificial-culture/ On Amazon.com:http://www.amazon.com/Artificial-Culture-Identity-Tec On Routledge’s website:http://www.routledge.com/books/details/97804158991