[ISEA2020] Paper: Nancy Mauro-Flude & Kate Geck — Taxonomy for the Contiguous Spectrum: Corporeal Computing Futures and the Performance of Signal Transmission


Keywords: Internet folklore, Visceral Systems, Interiority, Embodied Cognition, Holistic Computing, Future Performance, Feminist Theory, Hybrid Materials, Body Area Networks, Extra-Terrestrial Radio

This paper evaluates the emergent networking paradigm of cognitive radio and its connection to Body Area Networks (BAN) through the lens of performance, in order to explore the potential of these assemblies for creative expression. Through a taxonomy of entangled signals, we hope to address the potential of emerging material futures and the algorithmic complexity of signal processing for creative practice. The transdisciplinary space of feminist science and technology studies, alternative computer networking culture and artistic research reveals nascent eccentricities in emergent technologies’ relationship to somatic agency. As emergent technologies arise as key actors in our public sphere — especially through ubiquitous personal computing and mobile digital culture — we expand and speculate upon performance and its relationship to both computer culture and critical communication theory by presenting a new model for entangled, corporeal signals that can inform the design of networked experiences. Wireless networking is contemplated through a somatic framework, in order to consider how corporeal and computing signals are entwined; to assist us in developing enriching ways to act with emerging technologic entities and deploy performance research as a mode of inquiry into future scenarios of use.

  • Dr Nancy Mauro Flude, mother of Pearl and former pirate radio star. Administer of a home-brewed feminist web server, leads the Vvet n Vvild Vvifi holistic computing network @RMIT University (Melbourne Australia). A permaculture aspirant since 1984 her creative arts research contributes to the interdisciplinary space of feminist science and technology studies (STS), computer subculture and performance art. She explores signal transmissions in order to draw upon contested knowledges and advances broader understandings emergent technologies as they arise as key actors in our embodied lives. Her work radically intervene into public space through the aesthetic application of networking infrastructure, are: ‘Performing with the Aether: An Aesthetics of Tactical Feminist Practice’ in The Routledge Companion to Mobile Media Art (2020) ‘Vessels of Infinite Veracity: Command-line Incantations’ Art + Australia Journal Issue 6.; ‘Experiential Prototyping’ in Intersecting Art and Technology Practice: Techne/Technique/Technology (2018) Routledge.
  • Kate Geck is an artist interested in network culture and the connections between humans and technology. She works with code and textiles to create interactive surfaces and immersive spaces. Through her PhD, she is researching somatic XR and the idea of attentive design. These are extended reality (XR) experiences that reimagine human computer interaction to mindfully engage the body, drawing on somaesthetics. These experiences hope to offer an alternative to ‘attention-extracting’ design systems, which can often modulate anxiety through consumptive content loops and stress or minimise the physical body. She has exhibited locally, online, and abroad, with funding and commissions from a range of organisations. She is presently an Industry Fellow in the Bachelor of Interior Design (Honours) at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.