Wiretap 5.07 - Tekkie Therapy

On technology and therapy, with Erik Hobijn (NL), Henk Oosterling (NL), and Erik Davis (USA).

Wiretap 5.07 - Tekkie Therapy

Wiretap 5.07: flyer

Jul 1999
12:00 to 16:00
location: V2_, Eendrachtsstraat 10, Rotterdam

The 1999 Wiretap series focused on the possibilities of acting, interacting and intervening in media environments like the Internet and Virtual Reality. The series investigated the effects of these actions through digital media on our social and cultural environments (where we live, work, learn, communicate and amuse ourselves). Artists and scientists presented projects and concepts about a special theme. The Wiretap of the 18th of July had the theme Tekkie Therapy.

The programme Tekkie Therapy presented radical projects and concepts in which (media) technologies were used to level emotional blockages, to recall and work through repressed dreams and fears, and general therapeutical applications. Tekkie Therapy dealt with the physical and psychological mobilisation of body and soul in the arts, science and techno-utopianism.



Technology and therapy are closely connected. Therapies have always been specific techniques of care and treatment with or without technical apparatuses, based on herbs, acupuncture, massages, language, technology and media in the wider sense of the word. The technological age has not kept its old utopian promise of an existence in permanent happiness. On the contrary: every technology that is invented as a remedy appears to be accompanied by new physiological or psychological problems. Especially in different psycho-therapies, media and technical apparatuses are used to stimulate the mind, to re-animate repressed thoughts and to break through mental blockages. Even in the nineteenth century, psychiatric patients were reminded of their own past and their "real" existence by showing them their own portrait photographs. Another example of a medial therapy is the test of Rohrschach, where abstract drawings are used as an inspirational source for free association. Nowadays, we find a growing use of new technologies, like computergames, Internet and robotics in such contexts.



Wiretap 5.07 dealt with three extreme positions in the domain of Tekkie Therapies. The artist Erik Hobijn introduced several of his installations, like his potential "suicide machine", through which user and audience are offered a physically and psychologically transgressive experience. The philosopher Henk Oosterling talked about the unstable triangle of body, psyche and machine, by way of an analysis of notions of technology in modern psychotherapy. Using examples from Hobijn's work, but also by referencing phenomena like the Tamagotchi, Oosterling dealt with the relationship between, and the psychological consequences of, medial interactivity and interpassivity. The cultural critic Erik Davis spoke about the Extropians, an American sect of techno-utopians, who search for a release from all earthly inconveniences by completely technologising their lives. As special guests, a number of Shadow Buddies were present, therapeutical dolls with disabilities, protheses and beaten faces.



Techno-Parasites (Erik Hobijn)

Erik Davis

Shadow Buddies

Henk Oosterling


Nederlands / Dutch text

Gasten: Erik Hobijn (NL), Henk Oosterling (NL), Erik Davis (USA)
Voorzitter: Alex Adriaansens, V2_Organisatie

Poppen in de vorm van mensen en dieren spelen een belangrijke rol in de therapeutische behandeling van getraumatiseerde en daardoor geblokkeerde personen die geen mogelijkheid tot handelen meer zien. Deze low-tech interfaces worden nu aangevuld door hightech interfaces; door poppen die spreken, huilen, plassen of gemutuleerd zijn, of die zich kunnen laten ombouwen van sexe. Wat voor technologische interfaces en tools worden ontworpen om emotionele blokkades te slechten zodat men weer sociaal kan handelen?

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