IntroductionEvent to examine how digital technology is resulting in the “evaporation” of real “things”
Natural and social scientists, digital technologists, and artists are meeting in Edinburgh on 13 and 14 March to discuss if the vast amounts of data about living organisms – including humans – that is now stored on computers are transforming the way we think about and value the living “things” themselves.
symposium – which is being jointly organised ESRC Genomics Policy & Research Forum; the Centre for Design Informatics; and New Media Scotland – will consider the way in which living things are being increasingly digitised and the impact this might have upon science, culture and creativity.
Speaking in advance of the symposium, Dr Maria Grade Godinho, research fellow with the ESRC Genomics Forum, and event co-organiser, commented:
“In recent years science has been prolific in seemingly bringing about the “evaporation” of living things into digital data, as demonstrated by the decoding of the human genome. This digitisation of life is also enabling scientists to potentially create innovative living entities, such as genetically modified organisms, and even to potentially enhance the human body with cyber-technologies.”
Event co-organiser Dr Chris Speed, reader in Digital Spaces at Edinburgh College of Art, added:
“The evaporation of life-forms into digital data not only has implications for scientists and technologist, but also for the way that society perceives organisms. Our event will bring together artists and designers, as well as scientists and other scholars, to share knowledge and understanding on the way living things are being digitally represented, and to examine the potential impacts of the blurring of the boundaries between real things and their data-based representations.”
The symposium takes place at the University of Edinburgh’s Inspace Laboratory on 13 and 14 March. Anyone wishing to take part in the event can register for a place via a dedicated website - http://evaporationofthings.eventbrite.com.