HKUK03612U Art history: The Technologies of Body: Of Fashion, Dermagraphics, Jeanetics Engineering...

Volume 2013/2014
Art history

The Technologies of Body:Of Fashion, Dermagraphics, Jeanetic Engineering and Wearable Technologies

This course takes further the French anthropologist Marcel Mauss’ semantic pairing “techniques”/ “technology,” to apply it to body and its apparatus (clothing, weaving, habitus) from a cultural (anthropological) standpoint. Focus is on the latest overtones of the technologies of body in contemporary Visual Culture, but an important concern of the course is to explore both the prospective, as well as, the retrospective roots of the phenomenon.
We will thus move from the primeval garments of glory, into De humani corpori fabrica, and more recent Jeanetic Engineering which takes us into a new adventure. The Skin we Live In is ready to inhabit a new skin, so to speak, and a new ideology. This seems to confirm Mauss’ thesis that with every new artefact man has created a new ideology, where techniques are the object, and technology is its discourse. What might then be the new technologies of the bodies in which we live? What is the ideology that we create and embody today?
Scholars of the topic draw our attention that we are now standing at a threshold where cenesthesia, the internal perception of our bodies is transfigured, together with the whole history of the body, of its organs and its substance. A new vision surrounds our body, imprinted not by the mere dermagraphics of the tattoo, but by the latest garment of the ‘technological body’. New accessories having embedded sensors and computational power could be networked and incorporate electronic textiles. Our galvanic skin is padded by mobile phone cameras, and virtual applications of the latest in affective computing, which could monitor its function so we now canseewhat wefeel.
No longer part of the mythical, not even of the mere fashionable, with the new breed of sensing, monitoring and reacting wearable devices, our bodies become the locus of a great adventure. Body technology becomes intimate to the fluid circulation of the media with its perpetual monitoring of presence. The new techniques and technologies of bodies are equally physical, and technical prostheses marking a new era in the relationship of the body to both the internal and external world. We are finally becoming part of a network of devices, emissions and transmissions that surround us. We become part of the vast image of the world, in its networking instantiation.
The “wearable technologies” are the new garment as well as the skin of man.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 80
  • Guidance
  • 1
  • Lectures
  • 22
  • Preparation
  • 317
  • Total
  • 420
Type of assessment
Se Studieordning
Exam registration requirements
The Exam will be in English or Danish