This final Wiretap in the series 'Machine Times' queried the role of death in digital culture.
Our current society is obsessed with progression. In this scenario death means the ultimate border. Developments in science and technology have always made an effort to extend life or realize the dream of immortality.
Birgit Richard investigated how trans-humanists and extropians attempt to eradicate the scourge of mortality. Their heads are immersed, post-mortem, in liquid nitrogen in cryogenic tanks till medical science finds a way to reanimate them. 'Freeze Head, to Save Ass', indeed!
Who though the Internet and digital media are safeguarded from decay is quite wrong. More often information technology is fighting hypothetical diseases such as 'bit rot', 'software decay' and 'link rot'. In his presentation Death and the Network Jamie King debunked the popular post-nuclear apocalypse myth surrounding the Internet.
Modern versions of occultism and shamanism evolve around machines and time. Similar to Edison, who used his phonograph to reverberate the voices of the deceased at Madame Blavatsky's seances, Sam Ashley's Everyone Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano (authentic spirit possession as vocal technique), Ghost Detector and Jens Brand's computer controlled ratchets (The Ratchets) formulated a contemporary answer.
Moderated by Paul Perry (CND/NL).