I'm giving a talk at this year's OpenTech 2008, on July 5th, in London's sunny London. It's the first time I've ever stuck my head over the parapet of the conference circuit, and I'm both excited and utterly terrifying. (Edit: uh, I mean terrified. Although, uh, yes, both.)
I'll be talking about art history - the starting point for the talk is a painting by Rembrandt, and going on to talk about technology and embodiment: how our physical bodies relate to our machines, tools and the internet. I'm going to look particularly silly, as I'm on at 10.30am, a time of the morning when my brain doesn't work, and also sharing a bill with UBER BRAIN and offical world's cleverest person, Matt Webb.
The synopsis of my talk is roughly this:
* Who was Dr Von Tulp, and what can Rembrandt’s painting of him tell us about human-computer interaction?
* How is a week without the internet like loosing a leg?
* Why are the heady rushes of computer games and pornography the most compelling things on the internet?
We’re beginning to use machines as bodily prostheses almost without noticing. Touch interfaces, motion control, virtual worlds, mobile connectivity – all give us a delicious illusion of power over the physical.
We all know the man-machine stereotypes from countless Hollywood movies, but what should we geeks, tinkerers and creative technologists remember about the way our real-world bodies intersect with the imaginary spaces of computing and the internet as we shape the future of embodied interaction?
All these questions – and more! - glossed over as I attempt to draw lessons from art history, robotics and interface design in to one quick presentation – and all without sounding like a mad early 90s technohippy.
Register to hear me make a tit of myself at http://www.ukuug.org/events/opentech2008/
If you're interested in the subject matter, my research links are appearing at http://del.icio.us/mildlydiverting/embodiment