[-empyre-] wearable technology

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Mon Feb 3 05:32:55 EST 2014

Just want to mention, in passing (wrote Johannes about this), but I don't 
think there's a "digital look" at all, any more than an "analog look" or 
"flesh look" - whatever. The days of either sheen/metallic/glass surfaces 
on one hand, and robotics/attachments/prosthetics standing out - as a 
look, these are long gone. Even among avatars for example - although 
there's a stereotyped digital avatar style (complete with facets instead 
of curves), there are so many people working with other ways of being!

Think of digital look as clothing look, and the genre begins to disappear. 
On another stereotyped level, I tend to think of hipsters carrying wired 
or Air around has having "that digital look" - which implies money, 
corporate bias simultaneously denied, and laissez faire at the service of 
capital. But that's "that Park Slope look" possibly - which brings up the 
point of fashion and its micro-ecologies; what passes for a "look" on one 
block may be something entirely different on another.

- Alan

On Fri, 31 Jan 2014, Bienia Rafael (LK) wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Dear all,
> there are at least two aspects of wearable technology that might raise 
> interesting questions. The first is about the aesthetics of what was 
> described here as a "digital look". The second is about the practices, 
> what users actually do and maybe more important what they do not do.
> To the first I shortly ask how long the uniform of digital devices will 
> hold when the development of smaller and more integrated devices 
> continues. Think about the line smartphone, smartwatch, smartglass. 
> Maybe another question is how people integrate these devices into the 
> construction of the self with clothing. To the second, well, this is 
> particularly interesting to me as I study role play practices with 
> augmented reality devices. How do people actually use these devices in 
> everyday life or for recreational purposes? When, where and what are 
> they doing what they do?
> Is anyone here who also works with actor-network theory in this area?
> Best wishes,
> Rafael Bienia
> PhD candidate
> Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
> Department of Literature and Art
> Maastricht University
> Phone: +31-(0)43-3883452
> Email: rafael.bienia at maastrichtuniversity.nl
> Staff page: http://www.fdcw.unimaas.nl/staff/bienia
> Game Studies resources: http://www.rafael-bienia.de
> Postal address:
> PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
> Visiting Address:
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> ________________________________________
> From: empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au [empyre-bounces at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of empyre-request at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au [empyre-request at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au]
> Sent: 31 January 2014 02:00
> To: empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> Subject: empyre Digest, Vol 110, Issue 21
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> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Today's Topics:
>   1. Re: wearable technology (Johannes Birringer)
>   2. Begiining to part. (Patrick Lichty)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 20:01:04 +0000
> From: Johannes Birringer <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk>
> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] wearable technology
> Message-ID:
>        <899F3B65F6A5C8419026D0262D3CECB8051DE0 at v-ex10mb2.academic.windsor>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> dear all
> [Susan Ryan schreibt]
> But wearable devices have a stake in treating us all the same and thus all having the same,
> sleek "digital look."
> hmm, surely I would have thought the opposite, no matter what stake wearable devices might have and I don't think they do have one.
> In my experience, and there are separate areas then of discussion, namely the everyday or such sectors such as the medical, or the firefighters
> or the police or border guards,   and then fashion (and sports) and then, say, the performing arts, where for example Mich?le Danjoux, our designer
> in the DAP-Lab creates & designs costumes with integrated "technologies" for the performers and they are all different;
> and thus perhaps one needs to look carefully at what is worn and how, and what can be worn that is technologically interactive or proactive, needed or useless,
> adorning or playful and "degraded," as Hito Steyerl might say when she so wonderfully writes about the need for "low resolution" against the commodity
> fetishisms implied by Susan....
> but to come back to her remark, none of the
> dancers or actors in our pieces has the "same sleep digital look" -- and what is that, a digital look? -- nor do people I meet on a daily basis
> dress the same at all, I see massive differences and idiosyncracies, also related particularly to ethnic and cultural contexts, urban and rural contexts,  and
> varied realms of self expression or self performance (and the other ways, name when folks do not perform).
> respectfully
> Johannes Birringer
> DAP-Lab
> London
> http://www.brunel.ac.uk/dap
> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 14:38:00 -0600
> From: "Patrick Lichty" <pl at voyd.com>
> To: <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Subject: [-empyre-] Begiining to part.
> Message-ID: <012b01cf1dfb$2b3eda90$81bc8fb0$@voyd.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"
> I am going (right now) to give a talk at Kansas State tomorrow, and will be
> intermittent.
> Thanks so much for everyone for participating in the four phases of our
> revisiting the notion of interactivity.
> I also welcome our coming month and the discussion of the post-book future!
> Best,
> Patrick
> ------------------------------
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> End of empyre Digest, Vol 110, Issue 21
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