Timothy Druckrey


International Center for Photography

Writings and Presentations:

Title: Feedback to Immersion
Writing Type: Essay
Exhibition: SIGGRAPH 1993: Machine Culture

Cybernetics speculates about the coupling of machine and person. Since Norbert Wiener’s seminal Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and Machine (1948), the trajectory of technology development has been one of an increasing possibility of achieving that interface. In the past decade, the possibility of defining a relationship not simply between but within technology has become plausible. Yet the commercialization of cybernetics comes neither as a technical panacea nor without deep ethical concerns. As machines mutate into biology, the philosophical and political values of technology are challenged to confront more than conceptualized
situations but rather to theorize the materiality of programmed or enhanced being. At the same time, the development of”realities” that are characterized as immersive or virtual are beginning to surround experience. The penetration of technology within the body and the socialization of simulated realities is more than a signifier of technological progress-it marks a transformation of knowledge, of biology, and of the cultural order in which knowledge is linked with ideology, biology with identity in terms of a technological imperative not necessarily connected with necessity. The issues raised by this potential for the narrowing of the boundary between technology and experience are vast. In many ways the development of several parallel technologies has
reached a crucial point.

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