Cyborganics: Engendering Sympoietic Experiences through Body-worn Digital Artifacts in a Rewilded City

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Spirit and Flesh (Long Papers)

Presentation Title:

  • Cyborganics: Engendering Sympoietic Experiences through Body-worn Digital Artifacts in a Rewilded City

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Abstract:

  • Loss of biodiversity is posing an immense threat to the ecosystem, in particular the drastic decline in insect population endangers both the natural food-chain and crop production. In response to this development many cities have started rewilding efforts, aimed at increasing biodiversity. In this paper, I introduce and discuss the Urban Cyborganics project, which makes these nonhuman urban spaces available to human perception and experience through sensing technology, online connectivity and haptic output. As a speculative design project, the Cyborganic concept presents a fictitious nature-humanmachine hybrid, deployed as a form of material and experiential storytelling.

    Leaning on Haraway’s notion of sympoeisis, i.e. becoming-with and making-kin, the device emulates an insectlike perception of the urban landscape, prompting a change in perception of the city space and promotes a re-evaluation of how we align ourselves with other species in a built habitat. Building on Fernandez- Armesto and Ingold, I discuss the act of creation, of both cities and artifacts, as an ongoing negotiation between humans and the material agencies embedded in the environment. Lastly, I examine the Cyborganic in relation to traditional and indigenous practices.

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