Cyborg and Extended Self
-Author poses idea that technology allows us to become extended and improved versions of ourselves/fulfill certain desires. We tend to take these forms of technology for granted, but they miraculously and almost instantaneously make our lives easier. (Created greater sense of agency at farther distances through use of telecommunications systems, i.e. GPS, phone/signal towers, etc.)
Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS)–” use micro fabrication technology to integrate sensors, actuators, mechanical elements, and electronics on a silicon substrate”.
-Example: Seven Mile Boots project, incorporating accelerometer with w/ microcontroller built inside boots that allows the person wearing it to track the distance at which they’ve travelled in every step (seven virtual miles within cyberspace per one physical step in the shoes).
Haptics–force feedback (one example used included the rumble feature built within most modern gaming controllers).
-Author questions future development and infinite nature of computer/machine and human interactions.
Interfaces and Telematics
Telematics–field of wireless/data communications/telecommunications systems
-Author uses the first example of a surgeon instructing a robotic actuator to make incisions during a surgery as telematic control from across a distance within space.
-In the second example, artists Goldberg, Paulos, Myers, and Fogarty created Tela-Actor, a human being dictated to perform certain actions by others over a digital network, bringing into question the idea that telematic control can also remove, rather than provide (as seen within the previous scenario) the power of choice or will from an individual.
-Essentially, with the use of telematic and cybernetic technology, we can create something akin to an extension or enhancement of ourselves or aspects of our daily lives, similar to the modification of human beings using mechanical or digital parts, or creating cyborgs. In the same vein, we can remove certain extensions of ourselves/privileges we were once allowed, and even alter the ways in which other species communicate with one another or “extend” themselves.
-Vectorial Elevation: piece by Hemmer in which programmed light beams over Mexico City could be controlled by both “local and distant viewers”
-EVE (Extended Virtual Self): Work by Shaw in which user wears a helmet that allows them to interact with the work, displaying a projection of what the user sees within the virtual reality images being generated from their POV.
-The Third Hand (Stelarc): Use of technology as a prosthetic arm, writes part of word “evolution” while Stelarc completes the rest of it with his own two hands.
-Author poses idea that we have always been zombies and cyborgs since our evolution and existence. Early man created prehistoric tools to aid in survival–he compares this reliance on tool-making/utilization to our current relationship with our own bodies and technology. Claims we’ve never truly been in control of our own bodies to begin with, since many bodily functions that allow us to maintain homeostasis are performed automatically and unconsciously (very “zombie-like”), and that we are only terrified of something “that we have always been and what we have always become”.
-As mentioned earlier, we have an inquisitive relationship with technological advancement and can use different technologies to become enhanced or extended versions of ourselves. We can improve our own physical capabilities or even give ourselves biological and physical advantages over other, “normal” or unmodified human beings, similar to cyborgs.