Going Digital: From Obsolete Body to Body as an Interface in New Media Art
Ubiquitous computing and networking has brought about unprecedented changes in all the spheres of everyday life. Communication, access to information, cultural production, education, and even our sense of self is affected by the technological layer and its set of rules for social, cultural, and political, as well as aesthetic and artistic interrelations. Digital technology can no longer be considered a mere tool. Instead, it has become a constituent part of ourselves and the world we live in. This shift in our “going digital” may seem to have occurred smoothly, but in the past two or three decades only, we have radically reinvented and reinterpreted the existence in contemporary world precisely in relation to technological advances and breakthroughs. Through selected examples of pioneering and contemporary new media artworks which challenge the boundaries between art, science, technology, and daily life, I will focus on the issue of identity politics and the role of the body in digital interactions from Web 1.0 to state-of-the-art natural user interfaces.
Jelena Guga is a theorist of arts and new media. She earned her Ph.D. at Theory of Art and Media Department, University of Arts in Belgrade, where she defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled Body and Identity in Digital Space. She is currently working on Human Cognitive Enhancement project as a postdoc researcher at Department of Interdisciplinary Activities, New Technologies Research Center, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (CZ). Her work largely focuses on the ways new media technologies have rearticulated and redefined the notions of identity and embodiment in the age of constant connection and technological augmentation – from identity construction and bodily refunctionalization through various digital interfaces and/or bio-technological interventions, to the convergence of digital and material landscapes and environmental information augmentation. She is the author of Digital Self: How We Became Binary (University of West Bohemia, Pilsen, 2015).