The Internet of Bodies
Virtual Touch in Telepresence – Digital Intimacy through navigating virtual touch and creating tele-intuition,
live connection between London and Bangalore – body>data>space / Akademi, 2005
The Internet of Bodies is a practise as research programme of work initiated by Ghislaine Boddington to encompass and expand on her two decades of research into the emergence and evolution of virtual physical blended presence and digital intimacy. This contemporary research has resulted in an extensive set of public engagement and consultancy work across a wide range of sectors, through keynote presentations, directed performances and installations, curations, discussions and writings.
The Internet of Bodies engages in future digital issues for our living bodies. It explores the fast moving integration of humans with today's technologies, pointing to major transformations, not only to our bodies but to our understanding of ourselves, our identities and our relationship to the ‘other’. It points to a future in which we inter-connect ourselves to others through a networked “multi-self,” enabled by hyper-enhancement of the senses and a deeper tele-intuitive understanding of the virtual self.
Examining both positive and negative aspects, The Internet of Bodies emcompasses a range of converging areas of body technologies that have evolved in the last three decades of the digital revolution, and references historical and topical examples of body interventions and modifications of all types, from sense enhancement tools, to body prosthesis and implantable devices.
The Internet of Bodies proposes that our bodies have, in 2020, finally have become the interface. This leads to ethical considerations of the inherent issues of the data ownership of these biometric-led technologies.
Exploring the often invisible harvesting of our biometrics as value assets for corporate and governmental usage for behavioural surveillance and predictive economics, The Internet of Bodies debates into a public arena the direct implications this will have for our individual digital footprint, and how this could affect our identity and our responsibility to self and others.
It points to questions we need to consider now, as individuals and collectively within society, regarding the fluid merge of our physical selves with our data selves, that, with the additionality of artificial intelligence, will determine our future individual agency, and those of our descendants, in this world.
“I explore a space where our physical bodies and our data selves merge and converge seamlessly. I research virtual physical blended presence and the shift in our identities through our telepresent, avatar and robotic interactions, the integration of our senses and gestures and our evolving behaviours in virtual physical hybrid space.” Ghislaine Boddington, 2012.