We are here to talk about fucking machines. In London, on a foggy evening, on a Tuesday, for yet another debate about fucking machines. Another curated discussion underlined by our own human insecurity about versions of us in silica. Fucking anthropomorphic fucking machines. Machines that fuck us. And let’s face it, machines are already fucking us, or so we seem to be told.
Blockchain is in that space where we still have to explain it, because most of the people have gone from not having it around to having it around. But for kind of the folks that are your age or a little younger it’s kind of always been there, at which point it doesn’t really need to be explained. It does however need to be contextualized.
I am profoundly envious of people who get to write about settled domains or sort of settled states of affairs in human events. For me, I was dealing with a set of technologies which are either recently emerged or still in the process of emerging. And so it was a continual Red Queen’s race to keep up with these things as they announce themselves to us and try and wrap my head around them, understand what it was that they were proposing, understand what their effects were when deployed in the world.
We rarely think about the link between trust and progress and innovation, and how societies move forward. But when you start to think of it like that, you realize that trust is actually the key component not just for companies but any organization that wants human beings to try new things.
Traditional psychology and counseling will help people understand in a very linear way why they are the way they are. Whereas what I’m really focused on and what I’ve been specializing in for the last number of years is the how. And for me, virtual reality therapy is the how of change.
This idea of (re)performing the posthuman was pretty much based on a desire to talk about the cyborg ten years after, or fifteen years, twenty years after the Cyborg Manifesto and Katherine Hayles’ book became famous. And to really—yeah, to talk about maybe the normal cyborg, the normal technologized body. You know, technology in the everyday and its implications for the way we perceive and experience our bodies.
AR mixed reality has more potential, I think. With virtual reality, you’re just somewhere else altogether, right? And VR is all the rage right now. But in terms of disseminating information, in terms of keeping us in touch still with physical, you know. I mean, it’s all real life now. I don’t even distinguish IRL/URL now. I mean it’s all real life. But like, how do we maintain a foot in both simultaneously? Both the virtual and the physical.
So then I thought right, what happens with an artist who draws the body, who deals with the body all the time? I know, they have affairs with the life model, don’t they? They have their muse. So I thought right, let’s take this, let’s look at technology, let’s have an affair with this tech. Let’s try and put the sex into it. Let’s sex up the technology.
Humans, we’re pretty limited in what we can do, let’s face it, mentally particularly. We just have a bunch of brain cells. And the possibility of enhancing our brain, our mental capabilities, I think is enormous.