WEEK THREE: I, ‘Virtual Body’?

Week Three was an interesting segue out the ‘uncanny valley’ starting off with some posts on programming, then I was engaged in the robotics realm producing my visual artefact project below, while also exploring ‘virtuality. My mind was mostly absorbed with ROBOTS this week. I thought that I had made a clean break from previous weeks’ obsessions with cyborgs, androids and humanoids, but coincidentally the Danny Bazo post and video which I originally assumed was a ‘virtuality’ resurrected some residual references to the ‘uncanny valley.’

Hayles (1999) defines “virtuality” (pp. 13-14) as “the cultural perception that material objects are interpenetrated information pattern.” This mode of thinking raises questions, such as: Have I been programmed? (by parents, teachers, peers, media); Can I re-programme myself? Do I have ‘free will’ or is that concept just a delusion? Another Hayles’ insight that continues to resonate with me for further elucidation is: “human life is embedded in a material world of great complexity”(p. 5). I know that I personally feel encumbered by some of my material possessions. Perhaps I need to jettison all but my basic survival material reality, and accept that defining my (post-human)’essential self’ is more about ‘information patterns’ than materiality. N.K. Hayles. (1999). “Toward embodied virtuality.” from Hayles, N.K. How we became posthuman: virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature, and informatics, pp.1-25, 293-197. Chicago: Ill: University of Chicago Press.

In terms of Lifestream blogging, I realize the need for more ‘self-regulation’ when constructing and maintaining a Lifestream blog site. I have began to take more care with tags and categories on this Lifestream blog and I realize the need to do more ‘housekeeping’ in terms of site administration. I am still considering what topics to ‘page’ vs. ‘blog.’ I really want to spend more time reviewing peer’s blog sites, but I continue to find myself meandering down various paths, some of which are productive, but it all consumes time. One must parse out time for writing, researching, producing, reviewing others’ work, site administration, etc.

Having gotten robots ‘out of my system'(how “post-human”) this past week, I hope to transition to more ‘trans-humanist’ explorations in the coming weeks.

Leave a Reply