Technology is rapidly nesting itself in between us, very close to us and even within us, increasingly coming to know us and even receiving human traits. Gathering our intimate data influences our behaviour and the way we relate to our bodies, our lives, and the world around us. Now we can look at ourselves as a set of ‘objective’ raw data and technology becomes more like us. How advanced and glorious this may seem, the question remains: What does this increased and shared intimacy between technology and our body mean? What do we gain by capturing, saving and sharing all? And equally important, what do we lose?
Hack the Body brings together artistic projects sharing the same underlying idea: using new sensor and information technology to explore innovative concepts within biometric measurement, neuro-feedback and data generation. Speakers include:
Chris Salter is an artist, University Research Chair in New Media, Technology and the Senses at Concordia University and Co-Director of the Hexagram network for Research-Creation in Media Arts, Design, Technology and Digital Culture, in Montreal. He studied philosophy and economics at Emory University and completed a PhD in directing and dramatic criticism at Stanford University where he also researched/studied at CCMRA. Salter’s performances, installations, research and publications have been presented at numerous festivals and conferences around the world. He is the author of Entangled: Technology and the Transformation of Performance (MIT Press, 2010) and Alien Agency: Experimental Encounters with Art in the Making (MIT Press, 2015). With the Qualified Self project (developed together with Luis Rodil-Fernandez & TeZ) Chris is involved in Baltan Laboratories Hack the Body program.
Marco Donnarumma is an artist and researcher merging sound art and performance art through science and technology. He is known for his wide range of performances, concerts and installations using and abusing human bodies, sound, infrasound, light, algorithms, body sensors and loudspeakers. He obtained a PhD in Arts & Computational Technologies from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a thesis examining, both theoretically and practically, the nature and politics of human-machine corporeality. Marco is the editor of the first audiovisual anthology of Biophysical Music for the Computer Music Journal (MIT Press), and for Biotechnological Performance Practice (eContact! 14.2), a comprehensive journal publication on biotech and the performing arts. Forthcoming essays will appear in the Oxford Handbook of Music and the Body (Oxford Univ. Press), with Atau Tanaka, and in Unconventional Computing for Music (Springer).
Jan van Erp is a professor at the University of Twente (Professor of Tangible User Interaction in the Computer Science Department). He will talk about blurring boundaries between humans and technology, cyborgs, human enhancement, and the scientific experiments he performed with Arnon Grunberg. In these experiments, he and and his colleague, Ysbrand van der Werf, measured what was happening in Grunberg’s head and body as he wrote. Where do the ideas, images, dialogues and emotions come from? Can we get a grip on the chemical processes that take place in the creation of art?
Ira van Keulen is senior researcher and parliamentary liaison officer at the Rathenau Institute. She is a sociologist of technology trained at the State University of Groningen and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her recent research work is focused on the social and political aspects of (emerging) technologies and science related to her work as a parliamentary liaison officer. She is for example currently working on projects on digital democracy and evidence based politics. In the years 2013-2014 she was seconded for nearly two years at the Bureau for Research and Public Expenditure of the Dutch House of Representatives, working a.o. as a staff member for the temporal parliamentary committee on ICT government projects. Before that she worked on projects at the Rathenau in domains like the neurosciences, nanotechnology, ICT and human enhancement. Ira contributed to the publication ‘Intimate technology: the battle for our body and behaviour’ This essay takes a serious look at the trend that technology is rapidly nesting itself in between us, very close to us and even within us, increasingly coming to know us and even receiving human traits. In short, we have become human-machine mixtures, cyborgs.
Lancel & Maat are artists researching social-technological systems in the merging realities of our networked society. In Meeting Places and Meeting Rituals, the artists deconstruct and connect automated control technologies (such as surveillance, social media, self-quantifying biometric technologies and brain computer interfaces) to intimate, embodied, sensory and aesthetic perception. Invited as co-researchers in ‘artistic social labs’, the public experiences digital synesthetic ‘trust systems’. Lancel & Maat’s work has been presented at numerous shows and festivals internationally such as the Venice Biennale in 2015 and they will show at ISEA 2016 in Hong Kong. With the project E.E.G. KISS Lancel & Maat are involved in Baltan Laboratories Hack the Body program; in collaboration with STEIM (Tijs Ham) and supported by Mondriaan Foundation. E.E.G. KISS emerged from their artistic research further conducted in the context of Lancel’s PhD trajectory at Delft University of Technology.