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TECH2002 Studies in Digital Technology Lecture Week 6

TECH2002 Studies in Digital Technology Lecture Week 6



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    Tech2002lecweeksix0809 Tech2002lecweeksix0809 Presentation Transcript

    • TECH2002 Studies in Digital Technology Lecture Week 6: Cyberculture and mundane cyborg practice Andrew Clay 6
      • How are people using technology to explore being cybernetic organisms (cyborgs), hybrids of the human and the machine?
      • As ‘networked silicon intelligence embeds itself everywhere’, are we becoming ‘spatially extended cyborgs’ (Mitchell, 2003, pp.38-39) when we use technologies such as the internet or mobile phones?
    • Human Computer Interaction (HCI)
      • Why do we want to connect to machines?
      • How do we make the inanimate animate?
    • blueBook project (Manolis Kelaidis)
    • Intelligent textiles – air guitar t-shirt
    • Beyond the Human
      • Popular culture is replete with images of quasi-human/machines.
      • The cyborg is played out as a threat to humanity – to what it means to be human .
    • Cyborg
      • Cyborg – cyb ernetic org anism
      • Hybrids of human-machine
      • Cybernetic systems constitute cyborgs by using biology and technology
      • Separable cyborg (pilot-aircraft, ear-hearing aid)
      • Invasive cybernetic technologies – Kevin Warwick
      • Prosthetic cybernetic technologies - Stelarc
      • hybrid (Donna Haraway) bio-technological world
    • Kevin Warwick
    • Slide 13
    • http://www.kevinwarwick.org/
    • Stelarc A third virtual arm Muscles stimulated by computers Connection to robotic prosthetics He wants a third ear
    • A new physiological entity? A network of organic and technological parts in a cybernetic circuit
    • The body is trapped by gravity
    • Stelarc
      • ‘ The body is neither a very efficient nor a very durable structure. It malfunctions often and fatigues quickly; its performance is determined by its age. It is susceptible to disease and is doomed to a certain and early death’. (Stelarc, 2000, p.561)
    • Stelarc
      • ‘ The body needs to be repositioned from the psycho realm of the biological to the cyber zone of the interface and extension – from genetic containment to electronic extrusion ’.
      • (Stelarc, 2000, p.560)
    • Stelarc
      • ‘ It is time to question whether a bipedal, breathing body with binocular vision and a 1400cc brain is an adequate biological form. It cannot cope with the quantity, complexity and quality of information it has accumulated…, it is biologically ill-equipped to cope with its new extra-terrestrial environment ’. (Stelarc, 2000, p.561)
    • Cyberculture
      • Lister et al. use the term ‘cyberculture’ in two distinct ways (2003, p.385):
      • ‘ culture and technology’ from cybernetics, of how people live with technology in digital, mechanical and industrial structures
      • theoretical study of the culture and technology of this ‘cyberculture’, and in particular an interest in the profound interrelationship between computer technology and culture in the contemporary world
    • Cyberculture
      • Virtuality
      • Cyborg bodies
      • Identity
      • Cyberspace
      • Disembodiment / embodiment
      • Cybernetics
    • Cyberculture studies Computer and networked technologies biotechnology
    • Cyberpunk fiction 1984 disembodied cyberspace               
    • ‘ technoculture’ increasing incidence of human-machine convergence and interface cyberculture computers and networks biotechnology robotics artificial intelligence (AI) genetics
    • Cybernetics
      • Cyber – ‘to steer’ (Greek) [ kybernetes , steersman]
      • The science of control and communication in animals and machines , biology and technology (Norbert Wiener)
      • Control
      • ‘ smart’ machines
      • Cybernetic technologies
        • Thermostats
        • Ballistic missiles
        • Search engines
    • Cybernetic Media Technologies
      • Loop of constant information and energy exchange, a circuit of constancy of action and reaction
      • Temporary situation of being ‘in the loop’ or ‘plugged in’ to media such as cinema or videogames
    • a simple circuit between the brain and the cinema, the spectator is a cybernetic subject of the physical cinema
    • Videogames as Cybernetic Media
      • In gaming
      • ‘ the circuit serves to reduce the possibilities of motion and action and to amplify the remaining actions through a delicate balance of feedback mechanisms… Cybernetically, then, interactivity is a false description of a process of the programmed elimination of possible actions, not of creating possibilities of actions’
      • (Lister et al., 2003, p.357)
    • Cybernetic Bodies
      • People are no longer separable from the saturation of biology-technology, individually and environmentally
      • Technically a person with a surgical implant such as a pacemaker is a cyborg?
      • But what we really mean by cyborg is a creature that is constituted wholly of biological and technological components
    • Cybernetic Bodies
      • ‘ The contemporary intersection of the body, information and technology gives us a different body from the somewhat fixed and frail, if valiant body we were used to’ (Murphie and Potts, 2003, p.115)
    • Cyborg Issues
      • Technology is increasingly integrated with the human body.
      • Technology is used to augment or replace human physical functions.
      • The ‘Frankenstein myth’ – are we acting outside of our moral capacity?
      • Do our values change when we are hybrid human -machines?
      • What kind of politics do we need to ‘control’ or ‘regulate’ the development of cyborgs?
      • Are we now post-human ?
    • Cyborg Ethics
      • If we can integrate the body with technology – do we need to reconsider the ethics of human action?
      • What empathy do we have with ‘ animalistic ’ organisms if we have become ‘ technological ’ organisms?
      • How do we consider our own identities if they are augmented by machines?
    • Being Post-Human
      • High-tech culture challenges the notion of the ‘human’.
      • Boundaries between the ‘human’ and the ‘machine’ are transgressed .
      • Cyborgs can undertake tasks and roles that humans cannot or do not want to do
      • In embracing the cyborg we can re-define what it means to be human.
    • http://www.michaelchorost.com
    • mobile privatization mobility personalisation
    • Audio technoculture
      • From portables to wearables
      • Internet dematerialisation of music
      • From environmental audio to embodied audio cyborg?
    • ‘ The second best part about the Nike+ running — the cool, video-game like part — is that you not only run, but you also get points for running . Your score ever-increases. Better still, if you set goals for yourself, you even get awesome virtual trophies and ribbons , resplendent in their vector beauty... And the coolest part about Nike+ running? Like any good online game, you can challenge your friends. First to 100 miles? Fastest 5-mile time? Your call’ http://www.cabel.name/2006/08/multiplayer-game-of-year.html
      • ‘ cyberculture in general is a highly physicalist environment in which the lines dividing biology from technology are erased by biotechnology, art and surgery. If cyberculture has a bias, then, it is not towards disembodiment but towards physicality’
      • (Lister et al., 2003, p.376)
    • Me++
      • William J. Mitchell
      • the transformation of wireless technology in the hundred years since Marconi--the scaling up of networks and the scaling down of the apparatus for transmission and reception
      • This transformation has, in turn, changed our relationship with our surroundings and with each other.
      • ubiquitous, inescapable network interconnectivity
      • a world governed less and less by boundaries and more and more by connections
    • The cyborg self
      • Mitchell suggests that there is a particular embodiment of technology through machines and computer networks that have extended our bodies as machines so that we have become part-machine or cyborgs:
      • I construct, and am constructed, in a mutually recursive process that continually
      • engages my fluid, permeable boundaries and my endlessly ramifying networks. I am a
      • spatially extended cyborg.
      • (Mitchell, 2003, p.39)
      • When I sat down to make a list of audio technoculture I wrote this:
        • Living room radio
        • 45rpm vinyl
        • ‘ rock and roll’
        • Transistor radio
        • Audiocassette reproducibility
        • Walkman mobility
        • CD digitization
        • MP3 compression
        • MP3 player
        • Napster
        • Podcasting
        • Last.fm
    • Internet as technoculture?
      • Web 2.0 and audio technoculture?
      • Case study Last.fm
      • From broadcast to network?
      • A different physicality of audio technology?
    • Last.fm and the cyborg self?
      • Martin Stiksel, co-founder Last.fm
      • ‘ It’s a new music movement driven by the people, allowing everybody to become a DJ, and every musician to be played right next to Michael Jackson, if their music is up to it’ (Benedictus, 2006)
    • Social music networks and the cyborg self
      • Network flows of information about music tastes
      • Connectivity between music consumers and producers (playlists and artists)
      • Expanding musical knowledge in your taste spectrum
      • From audience to DJ
      • An online radio station that ‘knows’ you through your musical tastes (identity)
    • media/theory (Moores, 2005)
      • structuration, routines, traditions, dailiness, seriality, scheduling, ordinariness , hourliness, lifetime, eventfulness
      • globalisation, stretching, medium, shrinking, unevenness, network, flow, empires, permeability, virtuality
      • typology, mix, intimacy, grief, pathologisation, sociability, conversationalisation, face, friendliness, doubling
      • connotation, multiaccentuality, decoding, export, acts, context, technologies, tastes, fallacy, authentication
      • trust, inattention, reflexivity, risk, labour, performativity, MUDding, community, diasporas, dwellings
    • ordinariness
      • Settled, familiar, known, taken-for-granted character of daily use of media
      • Television and radio – ‘ordinary’ media
      • Habitual, mundane, underwhelming predictable enjoyment
      • But this has been learned as the technology has been incorporated into everyday life
      • Are we learning to make network media ordinary?
      • What is extraordinary about new media?
    • Podcasting – ordinary – extraordinary?
    • Mundane cyborg practice (Petersen, 2007)
      • Human-computer-internet action
      • ‘ always on’ broadband internet has allowed it to become a mundane technology of ‘constant connectivity’
      • ‘ mundane cyborg practice’ of human-computer-internet action
      • Study of 6 broadband users (students, unemployed academics) at 4 homes
      • 48 hours of observation per home
      • Home – network of household connection
      • Time – habitual, repetitive browsing (news, blogs, email, IM) as part of the patterns of the day
      • Multifunctional spontaneous use as part of the everyday routines of home – as a flow and mixing of study, work, leisure
      • Remediation of previous tasks
      • Restructure of physical setting – closeness to computers
      • Ubiquitous computing and mobile phones :
      • ‘ the experience of computing becomes more and more physical and material, underlining the fact that we will still go about our lives as mundane cyborgs’ (Petersen, 2007, p.89)
    • Conclusion
      • How do you use computers as part of your everyday life as a ‘mundane cyborg practice?
      • Do you feel as though you are part of a growing technoculture or cyberculture?
      • What is the ordinariness or extraordinariness of human-computer-internet action?
    • Bibliography Benedictus, L. (2006) Last.fm, Martin Stiksel [WWW] Available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,,1939028,00.html (Accessed 6 November 2006). Lister, M. (et al.) (2003) New Media: A Critical Introduction , London and New York, Routledge. Mitchell, W. J. (2003) Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City , Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press. Moores, S. (2005) Media/Theory , London and New York, Routledge. Murphie, A. and Potts, J. (2003) Culture & Technology , Basingstoke, Palgrave. Petersen, S. M. (2007) Mundane Cyborg Practice: Material Aspects of Broadband Internet Use, Convergence 13:1. pp.79-91. Stelarc (2000) From Psycho-Body to Cyber-Systems: Images as Post- Human Entities, in Bell, D. and Kennedy, B. (Eds) The Cybercultures Reader , London and New York, Routledge.