N. Katherine Hayles


Writings and Presentations:


Title: Metaphoric Networks in "Lexia to Perplexia"
Writing Type: Essay
Author(s):
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 2001: n-space
Abstract/Summary/Introduction:

As leading theorists and practitioners such as Marvin Minsky, Daniel Hillis and Brian Antwell Smith have been telling us, computers are much more than hardware and software.’ In their most general form, computers are environments of varying scope, from objects that sit on desktops to networks spanning the globe. Indeed, in Edward Fredkin’s interpretation, computational processes ultimately generate the fabric of the universe.’ It comes as no surprise, then, to find researchers arguing that computation is fundamentally altering the ways in which humans conceive of themselves and their relations to others. There are of course many approaches to this issue, from sociological studies to human factor analysis. Among these approaches are artistic works that tell new stories about the formation of human subjects, instantiating these
stories in images as well as words. To explore this systemic shift, I will take as my tutor text Talan Memmott’s “Lexia to Perplexia.”‘ In this complexly coded work, human subjectivity is depicted as intimately entwined with computer technologies.

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