The Cyborg Experiments analyzes the challenges posed to corporeality by techology. Taking as their starting point the work of the highly influential performance artists Orlan and Stelarc, the essays in this timely and important collection raise a number of questions in relation to new conceptions of embodiment, identity and otherness in the age of new technologies: Has the body become obsolete? Does transgender challenge traditional ideas of agency? Have we always been cyborgs?In addition to highlighting the playful character of digital aesthetics, the contributors investigate ethical issues concerning the ownership of our bodies and the experiments we perform on them. In this way the book explores how humanism, and ideas of "the human", have been placed under increasing scrutiny as a result of new developments in science, media and communications.Contributors:John Appleby, Rachel Armstrong, Fred Botting, Julie Clarke, Gary Hall, Chris Hables Gray, Meredith Jones, Orlan, Mark Poster, Jay Prosser, E. A. Scheer, Zod Sofia, Stelarc, Scott Wilson, Joanna Zylinska
In Life after New Media, Sarah Kember and Joanna Zylinska make a case for a significant shift in our understanding of new media. They argue that we should move beyond our fascination with objects--computers, smart phones, iPods, Kindles--to an examination of the interlocking technical, social, and biological processes of mediation. Doing so, they say, reveals that life itself can be understood as mediated--subject to the same processes of reproduction, transformation, flattening, and patenting undergone by other media forms. By Kember and Zylinska's account, the dispersal of media and technology into our biological and social lives intensifies our entanglement with nonhuman entities. Mediation--all-encompassing and indivisible--becomes for them a key trope for understanding our being in the technological world. Drawing on the work of Bergson and Derrida while displaying a rigorous playfulness toward philosophy, Kember and Zylinska examine the multiple flows of mediation. Importantly, they also consider the ethical necessity of making a "cut" to any media processes in order to contain them. Considering topics that range from media-enacted cosmic events to the intelligent home, they propose a new way of "doing" media studies that is simultaneously critical and creative, and that performs an encounter between theory and practice.