12th Symposium of Philosophy of Media and Related Disciplines

PERFORMING IDENTITIES IN A DIGITAL CULTURE

Dear colleagues,

We always hold in high regard those topics and inputs through which participants in our discussions introduce fresh and contemporary ideas, regardless of the specific subject of our symposium. In this sense, all topics are welcome. However, the main topic we will now be researching is the issue of performing identities in a digital culture.

The careful position of an observer has become old-fashioned in an era of rapidly changing systems of performing identities. In its escape from organic reality, the human body has become an action, thus ceasing to be (the only) measure of humanity. We throw ourselves at the mercy of cyber-reality and like lost refugees, we seek humanity in a context that is posthuman (Hayles). Digital culture welcomes us heartily, but only as partners in the creation of a new reality. A contest begins between the performance of human identity and the performance of a body made of data. This is a struggle for which cyberspace has been preparing ever since Pirandello’s characters strutted out from the text archives into the spaces of their audiences and then further into everyday reality. In the beginning we may be fascinated by the performing simulations through which machines are presented as omnipotent. In time we shall adjust and develop new tools through adapting the drama of identity performances. In this sense we have already recognized the performance of personas in social interactions (Goffman), or the dependence on the performance of our job skills (McKenzie), confused the temporality of artistic performance with the permanent consequences of performance in ritual (Turner), contrasted the physical body with the digital environment in artistic performances (Dixon) and designed computers inspired by theatre (Laurel), etc. The global digital network is basically a stage for the performance of spectacle constructed through a non-linear narrative. The performances of today, both the artistic and social ones, also function in the context of interrupted continuity, the implacable algorithms, dispersed catharsis, performance in non-historical time etc. In analysing these performance models, can we recognize already today, the rules, codes and new narratives of the future? Hybrid forms developed from the intertwining of humanity and technology, follow the logic of objects and are saved in databases instead of through traditional human techniques of creating narratives and fictions. The analysis of interaction between the human and the machine has already provided us with new ideas in cognitive science, philosophy of the media, art and evolution research. The performance of identity in technological acceleration (McLuhan) for example, has created the hybrid form of cybernetics and existentialism, areas which were once neglected. We invite you to join us in these attempts to analyse new forms of performing identities in a digital culture, which re-evaluate, combine and re-code elements of a post-human, but certainly not non-human, civilization of the future.

 

Discussion suggestions:

- Media and media performance

- Computer patterns of presentation and the art of performance

- The human element in the posthuman

- Absence as the trace of existence, humanity in cyberspace

- Cybernetics and existentialism

- Artistic and media theatre

- Non-linear narrative, from modern theatre to online communication

- The human body as a performing body of data

- Artistic performances between negation and adoration of the digital interface

- 'Microchipping' the thought process

- Humanity between metaphor and cybernetics

- The theatre of thought

 

We must again underline that we welcome research in the field of philosophy of the media and other disciplines in which you are currently working and which you would like to present, regardless of whether they relate directly to the main topic.

Welcome!

 

President of the Programme Committee

Dr. sc. Leo Katunarić

 

President of the Organizing Committee
Prof. dr. Sead Alić

 

Zagreb, 28th October 2021