“Can Non-anthropocentric Relationships Lead to True Intimacy with Technology?” presented by Pitsillides


Session Title:

  • Post Human - Can Non-anthropocentric Relationships Lead to True Intimacy with Technology?

Presentation Title:

  • Can Non-anthropocentric Relationships Lead to True Intimacy with Technology?




  • The concept of human machine communication is a theme that has driven the plot of many sci-fi scenarios. It is a powerful overarching narrative, which allows us to question as an outsider, some of the most fundamental principles of what it means to be human. This includes but is not limited to our personal ethics, our political systems and our social interactions. When we communicate with technological others such as robots, or avatars in virtual worlds, by; plugging in, talking, texting, typing, touching et al we are redefining the relationship we have with the body as an embedded and entangled definition of self. It is this definition of self that allows us to be intimate with others, as we define both the relationship and the meaning of certain interactions. On the other hand, a non-anthropocentric approach to intimacy may give us new versions of the human, perhaps even introducing concepts of the Posthuman that have the potential to blur the boundaries between technology, the body and the self.

    Artistic Freedom
    Within this panel I would like to question whether being intimate with technology, in a non-anthropocentric way could provide new critical reflections on the self and give the developers of robots and avatars the artistic freedom to go beyond the human both in form and mode of interaction. Rather than aiming for AI or empathy-inducing features i.e. teaching technological beings how to be better humans, we may instead consider how the affordances and materiality of different kinds of technology and how they can augment and develop new and enchanting approaches to human interaction. When considered from an artistic perspective rather than a technological one, we may ask what are the affordances of robotics and virtual reality and what kind of experiences would define intimacy in these new forms?