Wiretap 5.04 - Wearable Technologies

A program with Derrick de Kerckhove (CA), Rob van Mechelen (NL), Wolfgang Strauss (DE) and Monika Fleischmann (DE), moderated by Christine de Baan (NL).

Wiretap 5.04 - Wearable Technologies

Wiretap 5.04

May 1999
12:00 to 14:00
location: V2_, Eendrachtsstraat 10, Rotterdam

In the electronic age we will wear all mankind as our skin.

Marshall McLuhan

The human body is increasingly turned into a carrier of technology. New apparatuses connect functions like communication, information services, control of physiological functions, positioning, etc., directly to the body.

This programme presented a series of new Wearable Technology projects and raised questions about the technical, ethical and cultural implications. Do we want to be on-line continuously and free of some enormous burden of technical hardware? Never alone, always connected.

Artists, film makers, writers, medical researchers and other scientists have for decades been tackling the question of how to make technology wearable. The developers of Wearable Technology promise that interactive clothes and wearable apparatuses with a direct satellite connections will offer a possibility of liberation from keyboard and computer screen. The closer to the body, the more immediate the communication. An effortless merging with the technology by means of intelligent clothes, electronic bags and electronic babies, wearable gadgets that seek contact for you with a potential partner.

Wearable Technology creates a linkage between actions in physical space and the virtual reality of the digital domain. The body functions as an interface, as a field where material and virtual reality intersect. The question is therefore not only how this technology will influence our perception and actions in physical reality, but also which effects Wearable Technology will have on acting in virtuality.

These computing devices will be unobtrusive and provide seamless access to a wide variety of data and allow the user to perform tasks as needed, where needed. The objective of ubiquitous computing is to move interaction with computers out of a person's central focus and into the user's peripheral attention where they can be used subconsciously. Ubiquitous computing is often characterized by the attributes of mobility, interconnectivity and context-awareness. (Cyberpunk Project)



Derrick de Kerckhove presented the Worldwear project. The cardiologist Rob van Mechelen gave a presentation about the Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR), a new medical apparatus which is implanted in syncope patients. Syncope is a state of sudden, temporary unconsciousness. The ILR, a one-channel ECG recorder, was introduced in 1998 in order to diagnose syncope based on interferences in heart rhythm and conduction. Wolfgang Strauss and Monika Fleischmann (MARS Lab) introduced their theremin-based MARS Bag. Moderated by Christine de Baan (Rotterdam Art Foundation, Department for Design, Film, Video and New Media).



Het menselijk lichaam wordt in toenemende mate de drager van technologie. Nieuwe apparaten koppelen functies zoals communicatie, informatievoorziening, bewaking van lichaamsfuncties, positie-controle direct aan het lichaam. Dit programma presenteert een aantal nieuwe Wearable Technology projecten en stelt vragen over de technische, ethische en culturele implicaties.

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