Thesis Info

Thesis Title
3047: A dark room body
Valentina Serrati
2nd Author
3rd Author
MA Digital Media & Cultural Technologies
Number of Pages
Goldsmiths University of London
Thesis Supervisor
Sarah Kember
Supervisor e-mail
S.Kember AT
Other Supervisor(s),
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
New Technologies of Communications
Languages Familiar to Author
spanish, english
URL where full thesis can be found
Biotechnologies / technoscience/ artificial life / future life forms / autonomous agency /embodiment/ cyberfeminism/ performativity/ lived experience
Abstract: 200-500 words
The enmeshment of stories and theories in time and space about the future of human techno-biological body is the starting point of project 3047 - a dark room body. The facts and fictions of present discourses continue to construct false problems of possible lived imaginary beings and the conditions of development of their environments. 3047 intends to explore and critique some of the determinist dichotomies that had prevailed in the research of artificial life and artificial intelligence developments and perception of what future life forms should look like: the organic versus the artificial, the virtual against the real; the theories of natural evolution confronted with culture’s technological developments in biotechnologies and technoscience. More specifically the project focuses its critique on the efforts to erase embodiment within artificial life discourses and the accent on autonomous agency. The artificial life debates raise a well-known problem on corporeality as the remains of something technology wants to substitute or displace. 3047 is an interactive video-installation performed between a fictional avatar and its “original” model. Video-performance as a creative practice, introduce into an installation environment, reflects on the concept of performativity as a way to acquired knowledge not from mere representation but through lived experience. Since the beginning of the explorations of possible life extensions, most researchers and authors are focused on the replacement of the “obsolete” human body for an “advanced non-biological carrier with the promise of archiving “cybernetic immortality”. As usually observed in media and science fiction the avatar image is more likely to be represented as a stereotypical female form; in response to this, the project initiates the narrative by the appropriation of this stereotype, integrating concepts of simbio-Genesis and genetic mutation, in the making of an- ‘other’ not necessary human organism. The ‘humanimal’ avatar figure raises the question of human-nature relationships in the evolutionary history of the biological and lived body; this fleshy body that relates to the nature-culture interface where all living and non-living creatures co-evolve. Based on Donnas Haraway’s work on kinship and speculative fiction, the narrative of the project aims to offer passage points through which we encounter the heterogeneous discourses and lustful bodies of fiction that challenge the agency in which the questions of human, posthuman seem to be proposed. Placing a great emphasis in the rejection of both constructionism and essentialism and divisions between nature and culture, the formulation of the audio narrative is based on partial truths and speculative fiction, an in-between ground for different way of thinking without having the necessity of taking sides. As Haraway states, the “stories that tell stories” are not restricted with-in the people, organisms and or entities they tell or are told by, but they exist mutually contaminated by fields of biotechnology, computer science, cyberfeminism and science studies. The concept of “risk” presented by Sarah Kember offers an alternative to the exceeding boundaries of prediction and calculation manifested in the futurist narratives of the life “as it should be”; where biotechnologies could incorporate from cyberfeminism both imagination and complexity.