[ISEA2016] Introduction: Theme: Biopolitics/biopower: Genetics (G), Nanotechnology (N) and Robotics (R)

Introductory Statement


The ancient human urge for dominion (control/power) over all living things re-emerges as simultaneously the promise of augmented evolution and the threat of the anthropocene. In this context, Foucault’s notions of ’biopolitics’ and ’biopower’ offer a chance for informed interdisciplinary investigations of what Ray Kurzweil refers to as “the three overlapping  revolutions” of the Singularity: genetics, nanotechnology and robotics. The increasing sophistication of drone warrior and/or companion robots, micro-medicine and/or CRISPR gene-editing suggest the emergence of customized organisms and robotic presences (at all levels of scale) both as research vectors and as commodified entities. Can modalities of increased synthetic control be fused with a revived ethics? In what ways do ’biopolitics’ and ’biopower’ offer ways to re-think agency and relations? How does the entropy of current GNR developments alter the problematics of political rationalities and social governance?

  • Dr. Olli Tapio Leino, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong. Track Chair