The new flesh has arrived, synthesised out of silicon and carbon life forms, meticulous in its microscopic anatomy, global in its wired arteries. But has the cybernetic organism of the present-future provided us with anything more than the richness of community, the tactility of communion? And what is the price we pay for a planetary virtual body? The papers in this panel query the outcomes of the interfaces between the new technologies of the city and the new technologies of the body, converging on the problem of communication and community from a variety of perspectives and disciplines.
The panel opens with a session led by the Carnegie Mellon roboticists, whose work demands attention to the goals of human-machine relationships, but also asks us to pause before the utopian-dystopian discourses of cybercultural futurology to discuss where we are now, what is actually achieved and achievable. Later, the panel turns towards the death of privacy, towards social control and social change, to the urban and urbane, the cosmopolitan and the local, the sensual and the spectacular to seek the revolutionary struggles of the hypercity.
- Sean Cubitt (Convenor) Reader in Video and Media Studies, School of Media, Critical and Creative Arts, Liverpool John Moores University, UK.