KEYNOTE: Sex and Death among the Cyborgs

sandyKEYNOTE SPEAKER: Sandy Stone

As we (free)fall through the black (rabbit)hole called the XXIst century, it’s enlightening to contemplate: how in hell did we get here, and where am we going in this basket? In the span of a generation, humanity and technology collapse into each other with the lurching inevitability of a Marvel plot; as the collapse approaches lightspeed, the life of Homo Cyborgius flashes before its eyes: technology as ravenous lifeform; alien species pornography; “deep structure” and the search for original language; computation and the structure of time; multisensory assault; and the epic pushback contest between work and play, order and chaos, capital and freedom. How to live through it and still remain true to the highest principles of the undead? Together let us soberly explore the possibilities.

Allucquére Rosanne (Sandy) Stone is Professor Emerita of Communication and Founding Director Emerita of the Advanced Communication Technologies Laboratory (ACTLab) at The University of Texas at Austin. Concurrently she is Wolfgang Kohler Professor of Media and Performance Studies at the European Graduate School in both the Colleges of Media and Communication and Arts, Health & Society; Senior Artist at the Banff Centre; and University of California Humanities Research Institute Fellow. She has been active in sound recording as engineer and mixer (Jimi Hendrix, et. al.), film music composer, computer programmer, and cultural critic, founder and Director of the International Conferences on Cyberspace (1993-2003), and one of the first practitioners of New Media Art. She has done research in neurology of vision and hearing, has published extensively in the field of science fiction and has written software for commercial medical systems. She regularly performs worldwide, has exhibited at such venues as Ars Electronica, and has been profiled in such publications as ArtForum, Wired, Mondo2000, etc. Her essay “The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto” is considered the founding document of the academic discipline of Transgender Studies, and her book “The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age” was a New York Times pick.

Sandy’s current interests are New Media interactive installations, soundscapes, sculpture, experimental film and video, radical performance, electronics, chocolate, and queer-fu. She enjoys music recording, radio-controlled model planes, geeking out, and raising hell.