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Cathrine Hedager Ostenfeld Kamper. Performing the Cyborg

Abstract: Applying the notions of performativity (Camilla Jalving) and the cyborg as assemblage (Diane Currier), I will analyse and discuss contemporary performance and videoinstallation artworks looking for clues about how the human and the technological is performed and to what effect. The question will be not so much about defining which parts of the performance in the artworks is human and which part is machine, but more about understanding what they do – which understandings of the human and the technological do they perform? And how does it affect us and our understanding of ourselves and our surroundings when viewing or participating in the works? The answers might help us a little further along the way of understanding the politics of the machine beyond dualisms.

I hold a MA in Art History (2017) from Faculty of Humanities. University of Copenhagen.
I am specialized in contemporary art and mediation, and in the later years my primary research interest has been in that of the cyborg and the robot and how it has become a figure in our (art) society. For my everyday work I teach in urban- and graffitiart.

Jeneen Naji. The Posthuman Poetics of Instagram Poetry

Abstract: Technological developments and constraints have always influenced and shaped human cultural artefacts such as poetry, stories and music (Emerson, 2014: ix) and the same is true of the vast variations of the digital apparatus. As a result, the forward momentum of the contemporary explosion of online cultural content has far reaching implications on human subjectivities in cyberspace (Hayles, 1999). The construction and analysis of new digital literary artefacts with regards their impact on literary expression and reception is a timely venture that can help us begin to understand, anticipate, and drive the changing shape of human culture. For example, Instagram poetry, a type of digital poetry is, as the name implies, poetry that is produced for distribution through the social media channel Instagram and most usually incorporates creative typography with bite size verses. Instagram poets such as @atticuspoetry (517k followers) @christopherpoindexter (325k followers) and @rupikaur_ (1.8 million followers) have in fact proven to be so popular that their work also appears as best-selling print books. This paper will examine existing and contemporary examples of Instagram poetry towards the goal of a deeper understanding of the politics of the machine and their cultural impact.

Dr. Jeneen Naji is Digital Media Faculty in the Department of Media Studies in Maynooth University, Ireland where she lectures on the B.A. Media Studies, the BSc Multimedia, Mobile & Web Development. Dr. Naji’s research is in the area of digital culture specifically exploring the impact of the digital apparatus on poetic expression. She is also a convener and founding member of the Maynooth University Digital Arts & Humanities Research Cluster. Dr. Naji is also a member of the international editorial review board of the International Journal of Game-Based Learning (IJGBL) and a Fulbright TechImpact Scholar.

Ian Haig. Body Horror 2.0

Increasingly the contemporary media landscape and the ubiquitous digital screen can be considered as extension of ourselves. While our bodies are augmented and extended by a variety of contemporary media. The rational, logical and ordered world of the machine operates as the aesthetic opposite to our own bodies, which are messy, irrational and illogical. In this paper I will discuss how technology reminds us and brings us back to the wet reality of our corporeal ‘meat’ bodies. The limitations of our bodies, their flaws and fragility and a kind of confrontation of the body occurs with our use of the machine/technology; our bodies after all decay and die while technology is upgraded with the latest software update.I will offer an overview of my body centric art practice which focuses on the overall theme of the confrontation of the body and technology. In particular I will discuss my AR work ‘Fleshify the World – Augmented Diseased Reality’ (constructed from silicon) which depicts an iPad that has some kind of horrible disease. Increasingly as technologies become extensions of our or bodies the ultimate logic of this is that out technologies and machines could potentially start to exhibit elements of human pathology and disease.Hal Foster has expressed how increasingly ones own subjecthood is affirmed by the destruction of other bodies on screen. Technology too confirms our own subjecthood. It is our moist biological bodies on the other end of all those computer screens, mobile devices and networks after all.Body horror 2.0 is an updated version of body horror via the lens of the contemporary media machine. Technology advances at an increasingly rapid rate, while we remain trapped within Darwinian husks of meat we carry around with us called the human body.
Ian Haig, School of Art, RMIT University

Sarah Brin. Circumvent and Circulate: Artists’ Tactics for Overriding Institutionalization

Abstract: In the 1950’s and 60’s, Fluxus-affiliated artists in Europe and North America rejected the “hegemonic dominance of American Abstract Expressionism” (Maciunas) propagated by major art museums. These artists responded by developing alternative platforms in order to circumvent institutional models they believed to be stagnant. As demonstrated by Institutional Critique artists of the 1970’s and 80’s, and the present-day activity of collectives like Occupy Museums, artists’ critiques of institutions have continued to amass over time.

Correspondingly, contemporary digital artists are using new and appropriated tactics (DeCerteau) to curate work outside of museum structures (Kane). This paper identifies Fluxus methods for circulating artworks outside of traditional arts institutions, and argues that these methods have been built upon by new generations of artist-curators. Examples include contemporary digital-curatorial platforms such as Off Site Project and The Wrong (bienniale). By allowing audiences to experience their artworks on their home computers, these models alter artists’ historical dependence on the museum as a public platform. However, while there are many ways in which these projects diverge from traditional arts institutions, there are aspects that may not be improvements upon the museological models that artists have sought to eschew.

Bio: Sarah Brin is an art historian and curator currently working on GIFT, an EU Horizon 2020 research project focused on playful experiences in cultural heritage institutions. Sarah is also a recipient of the Creative Producers International fellowship funded by Watershed and the British Council. Prior to joining GIFT, she worked as the in-house curator at the Pier 9 Workshop, where she managed public programs including commissions, residencies, and research projects focused on creative applications of digital fabrication methods.
Sarah has produced exhibitions, programs, and publications for organizations including SFMOMA, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the MAK Center for Arts and Architecture, and other cultural organizations around the world. She holds an M.A. in Art and Curatorial Practice in the Public Sphere from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. from Brandeis University. Her PhD research at IT University Copenhagen focuses on curatorial tactics and cultural power.

Dave Evans. The Captive Portal as Artistic Opportunity and Ascetic Project

Abstract: This paper looks at how the captive portal can be used as an artistic medium, in particular how it can borrow from medieval Christian asceticism to provide opportunities for ‘moving people outside of their everyday concerns’ through a particular, limited, engagement with wireless technology.

I will introduce the captive portal is a geographically wireless local area network (WLAN) that forces those connected to a single location. These portals are often deployed by institutions, coffee shops, airports and so on, to drive visitors who connect to their network to a sign up page or a set of terms and conditions before accessing the wider internet. The technology from creating these wireless gateways has become cheaper and more accessible in recent years, and it is my contention that they provide opportunities not only for presenting artworks but also could act as artworks in themselves.

I will discuss how their value as artworks lies in their locality and open connection to a given community, albeit temporary. This idea of network as an open and democratic artwork offers a resistance to the ‘spectacular’ nature of much digital art in that it refuses the uni-directionality of the image in favour of a multi-directional system of simple connection and exchange.

I will further draw on historical conditions in which these simple and local multi-directional connections have previously occurred. Using Georgio Agamben’s writing on Franciscan monasticism I will discuss their concept of poverty and de facto use as a reaction to the rationalising and commercialising tendencies of the medieval Catholic Church, and draw comparisons between these inclinations and those of the global content aggregators such as Facebook and Google.

To qualify these observations I will present a range of examples of previous experiments using wireless local area networks as open, democratic and site-specific works. Specifically, I will then discuss an on-going work, the installation of a WLAN captive portal in a community garden at Edge Hill Station, a passenger train station in Liverpool UK. Edge Hill Station Network provides limited network access to commuters using the station each day, directing them to a captive portal web page on which the community collectively reflects on the differing tempos of production and consumption in nature (the community garden), work (the daily commute), and the often unnoticed cognitive labour of networked social interaction (surfing social media while waiting for trains etc).

I will then present findings regarding the efficacy of limited, ascetic networked engagement with regard to fostering a sense of locality and community and so ameliorating the potentially alienating and rationalising effects of engagement with massive networks.

Gunhild Borggreen. Enfreakment: Cyborg visuality of Katayama Mari

Abstract: Artworks by the Japanese artist Katayama Mari consist of photographic works as well as soft sculpture that can all be categorized as self portraits or autobiographical accounts. Katayama Mari had her legs amputated when she was 9 years old due to tibial hemimelia, a rare condition that stops bones in the lower legs from fully developing. In Katayama’s case, the condition also caused a cleft left hand that resembled a crab’s pincers. Katayama has lived most of her life without lower legs, and she uses various forms of braces and prosthesis for walking. In her artworks, Katayama displays her own fragmentet body surrounded by or engaged with excessive signs of femininity such as dresses, corsets and female underwear, ribbons, lace, pearls, gems, embroderies, boxes and containers decorated with hearts, pillows, rugs, curtains and loads of textile in many patterns and colours. Katayama’s elaborate life-size doll-like sculpture testify to a time-consuming act of labour in sewing and stitching, also alluding to feminized skills and handwork.

Anthropologist Jennifer Robertson (2018) discusses the concept of “cyborg able-ism” in the context of Japanese society, in which conditions of physically impaired bodies are not easy to cope with due to the social and cultural ideals of gotai, the five body parts that make a complete or whole body. The prosthetic industry in Japan and elsewhere specializes in producing prostheses that visually resemble the missing human limb as much as possible in order for the disabled person to “pass” as a normal body. At the same time, the prosthesis is one of the key objects that may create feelings of eerieness in the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori’s 1970 theory of “the uncanny valley” (Mori, 2012).

The disabled body is also marginalized in other cultures and theorized in “cribb theory” by Robert McRuer (2010) and others as part of queer studies and broader identity politics. The disabled body is part of a strategy by artists to critique the notions of idealist aesthetics, not only to confront the ideals of artistic beauty, but also to point out the mechanisms of enfreakment on the symbolic and social level of body politics (Siebers, 2010). Katayama seems to confront the viewer head on by displaying representations of her body as fragmented and stitched together. By drawing upon Haraway’s cyborg manifesto, performativity and visual theory, this paper will examine how Katayama Maris artworks juxtapose ideals of (female) beauty with grotesque monstrosity as a means to critique normative notions of “the whole body”.

Robert McRuer, “Compulsory able-bodiedness and queer/disabled existence”, The Disability Studies Reader, ed. Lennard J. Davis, Taylor & Francis, 2013, pp. 369-378.
Masahiro Mori, “The Uncanny Valley”, translated by Karl F. MacDorman and Norri Kageki, IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine, June 2012, pp. 98-100
Jennifer Robertson, Robo sapiens japanicus. Robots, Gender, Family and the Japanse Nation, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2018
Tobin Siebers, Disability Aesthetics, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2010

Gunhild Borggreen is an Associate Professor at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen. She is the co-founder and manager of the interdisciplinary research group ROCA (Robot Culture and Aesthetics), and has published research with focus on robotics and art, such as “Robot Bodies. Visual Transfer of the Technological Uncanny” (TransVisuality, Liverpool University Press, 2015), and “Staging Lies: Performativity in the Human-Robot Theatre play I, Worker” (Social Robots, Ashgate Publishing, 2016). Gunhild Borggreen works in the field of Japanese art history and visual culture, and her research covers broader aspects of Japanese visual culture with attention to gender, national identity and performance.

Artem Kolganov. The Figure of Cyborg as ‘Political Hauntology’

Abstract: Short Bio: Artyom Kolganov is B.A. student of the School of Philosophy at National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE), Moscow. Academic interests: political ontologies, poststructuralism, philosophy of time.

Abstract: The paper examines the actuality of Donna Haraway’s concept of the cyborg under the conditions of ‘capitalist realism’. Following the technological optimism of the 1980’s, Haraway’s theory of the cyborg contains strong emancipatory implications which capacities have been challenged recently by the decline of the political imagination. The impossibility of considering the alternative to capitalism puts under the question the heuristic potential of Haraway’s conceptualization. However, considering the political theory of the cyborg as an implication of the ontology leaves the possibility of returning the emancipatory function to the cyborg’s figure. My suggestion is to redefine the relevant ‘ontology’ in Haraway’s work by its substitution for ‘hauntology’ in Mark Fisher’s sense. This theoretical shift allows not only to reassemble the political theory of the cyborg but also to regain its actuality.

Anna Nacher. The politics of ontological coalitions – bonding across realms

Abstract: In my paper I would like to focus on the art projects aimed at visualizing (grasping) the invisible wave-like phenomena (radioactivity, electromagnetic spectrum, energy fields, light fields etc.) through interfaces and / or installations designed specifically for such purpose (some prominent examples include Suguru Goto’s Cymatics, Immaterials’ Light Painting WiFi and Satellite Lamps, Richard Vijgen’s The Architecture of Radio, Nelo Akamatsu’s Chijikinkutsu or Ralf Baecker’s Mirage). Such works often mirror the post-digital condition of our time where the digital technologies constitute the common background for everyday activities, no longer having the allure of “new” and “exciting” [Berry, Dieter at al. 2015]. In this process, both the networked technologies of wireless communication and the act of crossing the boundaries between the digital and the physical play the crucial role as the post-digital networked imagery increasingly becomes directly connected to the physical environment. I would like to ponder on the questions of processuality and relationality involved in such instances where the complexity of the hybrid works of art clearly transgresses the paradigm of representationalism [Thrift 2008, Anderson and Harrison 2010, Kember and Zylinska 2012], where the effect of representation is given priority over the processes that constitute it. How the fact that such artworks bond different ontological realms (discursive, physical, digital) and different agents (human and non-human, carbon-based and software-based) forging “ontological coalitions” [Malafouris 2013] contributes to the way we understand “vibrant matter” (Bennet 2010)? How the “eventfulness” and processuality of representation [Simanowski 2013; Salter 2010] translates into increased attention given to the materiality involved in the process? These are the main questions providing the ground for my research in this field.

Anderson B., Harrison P., Taking-Place: Non-Representational Theories and Geography, Ashgate, Farnham – Burlington 2010.
Bennett J., Vibrant Matter. A Political Ecology of Things, Duke University Press, Durham and London 2010.
Berry M. D., Dieter M., Postdigital Aesthetics. Art, Computation and Design, Palgrave Macmillan, New York 2015.
Kember S., Żylińska J., Life After New Media. Mediation as a Vital Process, MIT Press, Cambridge – London 2012.
Malafouris L., How Things Shape the Mind. A Theory of Material Engagement, MIT Press, Cambridge 2013.
Salter Ch., Entangled. Technology and the Transformation of Performance, MIT Press, Cambridge – Londyn 2010.
Simanowski R., Text As Event: Calm Technology and Invisible Information as Subject of Digital Art [in:] Throughout. Art and Culture Emerging with Ubiquitous Computing, ed. U. Ekman, MIT Press, Cambridge 2013.
Thrift N., Non-representational Theory. Space, Politics, Affect, Routledge, London – New York 2008.

Camilla Jaller. Artistic Hybridizations of Human Perception – Neil Harbisson, Moon Ribas and beyond

Abstract: Neil Harbisson was announced the world’s first cyborg artist after completing the first ever ‘skull transmission painting’ at Hyphen Hub in 2014. Together with Catalan choreographer Moon Ribas, who has a sensor implanted in her left arm that vibrates whenever an earthquake occurs, he is the co-director of the Cyborg Foundation (2010), an international organisation that aims to help humans become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborgism as a social and artistic movement. This paper deals with the last part of this proposed aim and investigates how we might approach the field of cyborg-perceptions within the production and experience of art.

Because of the antenna implanted in his skull, Harbisson can hear visual inputs and images as well as paint sounds. The sensor was originally devised to help him counter a rare form of colour blindness called achromatopsia, but he believes it a human duty in general to use technology to transcend our senses. “Becoming a cyborg isn’t just a life decision,” he explains. “It’s an artistic statement – I’m treating my own body and brain as a sculpture.” But it is not just a matter of altering the body; he is also altering and hybridizing the means of perception.

The intersection of technology and human perception has been debated within cultural theory and philosophy for a long time, for example by Walter Benjamin, who stated that what he terms the collective perception is quite capable of change, and is in fact changed or even conditioned by technological developments happening at specific historical times. New technologies can create new perceptions, which is of crucial importance to the studies of visual culture and specific artistic phenomena, because these might have a part to play in the basic historical changes of the human perception. But how may we describe a perception that is not entirely our own nor constituted solely by the human body? And might the field of cyborg-perceptions be the next step for this change in the collective perception?

Nathan Jones. Lyric Machines: Praxis, Parapraxis and Parataxis in Contemporary Poetry

Abstract: This paper proposes that Keston Sutherland’s book Odes to TL61P (2012) and Ben Lerner’s Mean Free Path (2010) are examples of contemporary lyric poetry whose corruptions render the ideologically indebted position of the writer in computational contexts. I suggest that the poems in these books can and should be read as new media “glitch” works whose concerns spread out from literature to form important critiques of contemporary language as it is shaped and temporalised by computational media. Glitch practices of the last decade have valourised errors and misuse as tactical ways of exposing the “genealogy of conventions” (Menkman) on which our use of computers are based. The deep enmeshment of cognitive, linguistic and computational processes in the digital age set the stage for a literary response to this effect also. I coin the term “glitch poetics” to refer to the manner of reading for textual corruptions that engage in – perhaps re-configure – what the digital means to language today. Using this term, I suggest that, like contemporary versions of Walter Benjamin’s Baudelaire and Theodor Adorno’s Holderlin, the errors in Sutherland and Lerner’s books “negatively figure” the machinic context for the lyric of the digital age.

Nathan Jones writes and collaborates frequently on intersections of language and new media. He is PhD student at Royal Holloway University of London, and is Lecturer in Fine Art (Digital Media) at Lancaster University. He is also co-founder and contributing editor of Torque Editions, whose recent books include Artists Re:Thinking the Blockchain (2017) and The Act of Reading (2015). Nathan’s recent art works include the website and workshop series Unicode Class Vernacular (Liverpool Biennial 2018), in which he explores the unicode character set as a printed edition. Recent critical publications include “Glitch Poetics: The Posthumanities of Error” a chapter in The Bloomsbury Handbook of Electronic Literature, and “It will be called a Unicode Class Vernacular” in Lune Journal for literary disorder.

A.T. Kingsmith and Lina Nasr El Hag Ali. Cosmic Slop: Possibilities of Alien Futures (From the Past)

Abstract: Abstract:

The global rise of the far Right has thrown out the promise of any imagined future; be it democratic, queer, or techno-scientific. Such a configuration seeks the annihilation of the ‘other’ in an all encompassing sense. Confronting this present requires not an overcoming of natural-technical dualisms, or the reversing of their rootings, but their total alienation. Black Accelerationism and Afrofuturism’s discourse of the ‘future as indifferent towards the human’ (Eshun: 1998), centres instead the alien. In speaking of the history of ‘Black Music’, Eshun describes the works of Alice Coltrane, Sun Ra or Underground Resistance, as alienating itself from the human, arriving from the future. We contend that Eshun’s ‘alien-music’ provides an alterior entryway into discussions of the present. The aim to “design, manufacture, fabricate, synthesize, cut, paste and edit a so-called artificial discontinuum for the futurerythmachine” … “demands alien listeners who can hear another world” (1998: 003). We see this demand mirrored in prominent works of fiction such as Cixin Liu’s ‘The Three Body Problem’ (三体, 2008). To this end, our paper will explore the alien not as a hybridization or disembodiment of human life, but the hyper-embodiment of otherwise.


L.N. & A.T. teach political theory in the Department of Politics at York University, Toronto, Canada, where their work touches on the aesthetic dimensions of political life. A.T.’s book, ‘A schizo-stroll: anxious reflections on late capitalism’ (Permanent Sleep Press, 2017), analyzes the advent of generalized and personalized anxiety in relation to the aesthetics of capitalist societies since the global financial crisis. L.N.’s research engages anarchist perspectives on local and global infrastructures in relation to revolutionary violence, political organizing, and dissent. Their current practices in dark materialism explore different forms of interface and alienation in the expansive void –– the ‘affirmative’ imperative to move beyond, to leave behind, or to scale down antagonism, finitude, insufficiency, and irreconcilability –– by probing the co-constitutive nature of futural visions of utopia and dystopia.

Ana Maria Guzman Olmos. Technical sensibility. On sexual and machinic performance

In this presentation I’ll put forward the thesis that technological devices for sexual pleasure production -sex toys- have a performative function because they show the technicality with wich sexuality is produced. I argue that there is a technical sensibility, which can be tracked within the specific encounters taking place between sex toys and bodies. The performative visibility of mechanic singular operations constitutes the core of the technical sensibility.
As market products sex toys are often advertised as tools for sexual performance improvement. The description of sex toys as self-improvement technologies belong to the definition of a body as an entropic organism; under that logic, machines involved in sexual interactions are regarded as a tool operating towards a discharge end of the organism. I instead will approach to machine-bodies sexual entanglements, from the perspective of technical performance. I propose that the performance of the machine within sexual encounters produce a repetition of the structure in which sexual processes are produced, by means of which sexual mechanisms get signified as technical assemblages that make the singularity of mechanic operations visible. In this way, machinic sexual performance act as an opening to the comprehension of body-machine entanglements as singularities.As the already classic cyberfeminist multimedia perspective of VNS Matrix pointed out, desire, pleasure and bodies are connected to technological entanglements. How exactly those relations are shaped? How does the clitoris get connected to the matrix? What does it mean for human bodies to engage in sexual encounters with machines? In this paper I’ll put forward the thesis that technological devices for sexual pleasure production -sex toys- have a performative function, in that they show the technicality with wich sexuality is produced. After Gilbert Simondon’s essay Technical Mentality, I argue that there is a technical sensibility, which can be tracked within the specific encounters taking place between sex toys and bodies. The performative visibility of mechanic singular operations constitutes the core of what I call technical sensibility.
Within their mainstream mode of use and consumption, sex toys are market products, and they are often advertised as sexual performance improvement technologies. The description of sex and sex toys as self-improvement technologies belong to a conceptualization of sex based on the definition of a body as an entropic organism. As Tiziana Terranova and Luciana Parisi have pointed out, the body has been conceptualized in many different ways, one of them labeled under the concept „organism“. As an organism, the body has been seen as an individual and solid entity, which means that every (sexual) interaction with other solid bodies can only serve the teleological aims of the individual organism, or in Terranova and Parisi (2000) words: „The organism must ward off death constantly by charging and releasing the energy thus accumulated: nothing must be dissipated, everything must be used up and discharged once it has exhausted its function“. Under the entropic organism-logic, machines involved in sexual interactions are regarded as a mere tool operating towards a discharge end of the organism.
Instead of considering sexual performance from a teleological point of view, I will approach to machine-bodies sexual entanglements, from the perspective of technical performance (Parisi, 2017). What do machines perform? How does a machine acts within sexual encounters? Following Dieter Mersch’s reading of Jacques Derrida’s conceptualization of the performative, I propose that the performance of the machine within sexual encounters produce a repetition of the structure in which sexual processes are produced; by means of that repetition it signifies sexual mechanisms as technical assemblages that make the singularity of mechanic operations visible. In this way, machinic sexual performance act as an opening to the comprehension of body-machine entanglements as singularities.Bibliography
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DERRIDA, Jacques: Signature, Event, Context in Margins of Philosophy, University Of Chicago Press, 1985.
LABORIA CUBONIKS: Xenofeminism. A Politics for Alienation, < >
MERSCH, Dieter: Ereignis und Aura. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2002.
SIMONDON, Gilbert: Technical Mentality in Arne De Boever, Alex Murray, Jon Roffe, and Ashley Woodward (eds.), Gilbert Simondon: Being and Technology, Edinburgh University Press, 2012, 236pp.
PARISI, Luciana: Abstract Sex. Philosophy, Bio-Technology and the Mutations of Desire. London-New York: Continuum, 2004.
PARISI, Luciana: Reprograming Decisionism in E-flux, Journal #85 – October 2017, Accessed on 20th december, 2017, < >
PARISI, Luciana and Tiziana Terranova: Heat-Death. Emergence And Control In Genetic Engineering And Artificial Life in, 2000, accessed on 20th December 2018, < >
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Ana María Guzmán OlmosAna is a freelance researcher engaged with the fields of philosophy and artistic research. After studying her Bachelor in Philosophy at UNAM (Mexico) and a Diplom in Interdisciplinary Artistic Research and Production at the Centro Nacional de las Artes (Mexico) she studied a Masters in Philosophy at the Free University Berlin. She is co-founder of the Project „Tecnologías Masturbatorias“, a non-profit platform for discussion on Sexuality, Technology and Politics. With “Tecnologías Masturbatorias” she have co-facilitated Workshops on Gender and
Violence in Digital Environments and gave talks on the Genealogy of Sex Toys. She has also collaborated in some scholar projects in the fields of Digital Humanities and Philosophy of Technology. She is currently contributing in the research for a cultural event at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Other theoretical subjects of research include 20th century theater and the politics of the performative. She lives and works in Berlin.

Petja Ivanova. Styroworm – the incarnation of the hybrid


Styroworm is the metaphorical name of the larvae of Tenebrio molitor who biodegrade polystyrene. Using this metaphor the artist and researcher Petja Ivanova speculates about the notion of the cyborg in a techno-ecology articulating the optical illusion of the boundary between science fiction and social reality as Styroworm means plastic into organism, organism out of plastic, incarnation of the hybrid; artificial and natural fertilize each other. Styroworm munches through the dualisms between nature and culture and consequently body and mind dichotomy to purge univocity. It is a feminist and the incarnation of new materialist beliefs.

In a sort of lecture performance with live graphical recording in form of a cartoon I would like to describe Styroworm’s behavior and physiology to justify the above mentioned arguments. The graphical recording can result in a comic like publication afterwards but this is not a necessity.

For additional material like sketches or artworks but not the final paper I will add attachments.


Saskia Isabella Maria Korsten. The entanglement of the object and viewer in a relational system, in the works of Bekirovic

Abstract: A fragile snowflake is being exposed to light when the curtain in front of the unfixed photograph is lifted for a peek by a viewer. The snowflake will wither away a bit more after each exposure. In this work ‘Snowflake’ (2012) by Semâ Bekirovic one’s experience with looking at snowflakes melting on one’s warm hands is re-lived. In her ‘The Radiance of Sensible Heat (02) (2016), she allows us a glance over sculptures in the dark only lit by the touch of a warm hand caressing the sculpture captured by a heat-sensitive camera. The sculpture radiates its volume. In this paper I would like to couple her works to the idea of the ‘Thinking-Feeling of what happens’ by Brian Massumi. He states that “when we see an object’s shape we are not seeing around to the other side; what we are seeing, in a real way, is our capacity to see the other side.” Bekirovic herself claims that she is inspired by the scientific background of her father, including his more fantastic aspirations in inventing a magic carpet. Her works show great scientific interest but are a lot more subjective and less goal-oriented. She says about one of her works in which she uses a symbolic grid that she is actually showing the unwillingness of the world to stay within objective parameters. This holds a connection with Donna Harraway’s statement that “there is no unmediated photograph or passive camera obscura in scientific accounts of bodies and machines; there are only highly specific visual possibilities, each with a wonderfully detailed, active, partial way of organizing worlds.” Bekirovic shows in her work that viewing is not an act of a fixed eye only. It is an object appearing as an event, entangling the viewer within its system.
In this paper I will trace the relationally activated body in a viewing experience to try to answer to Harraway’s plead that “we need to learn in our bodies, endowed with primate color and stereoscopic vision, how to attach the objective to our theoretical and political scanners in order to name where we are and are not, in dimensions of mental and physical space we hardly know how to name.”Brian Massumi, The thinking-feeling of what happens in Interact or Die, 2007, p. 73

A Conversation with Semâ Bekirovic

Donna Harraway, Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective, 1988, p. 10
Donna Harraway, Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective, 1988, p. 9

Elizabeth Jochum, Louis-Philippe Demers and Evgenios Vlachos. Becoming Cyborg: Corporeal Empathy, Agency and Politics of Participation in Robot Performance

Abstract: Cyborg bodies enable heightened perception of movement, and create expanded opportunities for movement and sense perceptory experiences that allow for new kinds of empathic experiences. Learning to move as cyborgs requires both the ability to coordinate physical actions and to cultivate an awareness of how we encounter ourselves as movers while incorporating foreign bodies/appendages with our own moving bodies. Understanding how perception and action are linked in performance contexts can lead to a nuanced understanding of real-time coordination and improvisation of cyborg bodies in non-performance settings. This paper explores the aesthetics and politics of interaction with exoskeletons in a participatory dance performance. Through an ethnographic understanding, the paper considers how joint action control in participatory performances with exoskeletons creates instances of shared or hybrid agency, creating new possibilities for what Karen Barad calls “intra-action.” Human bodies and machines moving together onstage raise questions concerning disablement, cyborg-ableism, and transhumanism.