Artificial Life
Sami Haikonen

New technologies alter the way we perceive our body and identity. In science and in science fiction new concepts of bodies and identities enthusiasticly explored. In these discourses bodies are often perceived as an object that can be designed for individual needs. In this text I will briefly comment these discourses and introduce an installation which I made in Tokyo.

The body systems

In recent technoscientific discourses, particularly in the fields of communication and biological technologies, bodies are perceived as a code, text or information. In communication sciences the physical world is translated into code or information which can be processed by computers. In biotechnology bodies are translated into language of genetic coding. Biological and communication technologies are looking for a common language that these two systems could meet. In this meeting the boundaries between machine and organism, natural and artificial are blurred.

In science fiction and cyberspace new concepts of bodies are explored. In these cybervisions physical bodies are transformed to produce new identities beyond biological and physical limitations. These fantasies reflect the changes in the concepts of our bodies and identities.

What seems to be common to these fantasies in virtual and `real` life is that the body is considered only as a tranformable object to project the identity. In my work I intend to criticise this view of seeing body as a product that can be freely manipulated to reinvent one`s self.

Artificial life installation

Following the work that I did in Tokyo ( I intend to create a participatory environment which the participants can access through internet and also in the actual installation space. The aim of the work is to comment on the transformations of body concepts in the context of new technologies. The work would include an artificial life "creature" which could be fed in the internet. This creature would also communicate with the participants in the physical space.

© Sami Haikonen