Metabody Conference

24-31st July 2013 in Medialab Prado, in Madrid

The Metabody project is directed by the artist, philosopher and activist Jaime del Val, and coordinated by Reverso, an experimental architectural structure containing laboratories of embodiment and perception that will tour 9 european cities. Between July 2013 and July 2018, with a 2 million euros grant from the European Commission and throughout 25 events and continuous research, Metabody will elaborate a critical study of Information Society, proposing new technological paradigms that highlight the changing interrelated differences of bodies and environments (metabodies), against the paradigm of disembodied information and aesthetics of control.

During the last week of July 2013, the project METABODY explored with an 8 days international conference congregating 100 international experts, the contemporary transformation of the human in the era of information networks, of which humans have become functional extensions: the posthuman era:

The event will highlight the new forms of relating and being, the new cognitive and affective modalities generated by new media. Disguised behind the false liberation promised by publicity, mobile devices and social networks invite us to be permanentely connected, reducing our lifes increasingly to the overexposed data of the networks that are tracked by corporations and governments, with goals ranging from political control to new marketing strategies for preemtpion of emergent desires of consumers. 

The conference, organised by jaime de Val (Reverso) and Eva Botella Ordinas (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), with the title “Multiplicities in Motion: Affects, embodiment and the reversal of Cybernetics. 3.000 years of posthuman history” counted with the presence of the distingushed keynote speaker and project collaborator N. Katherine Hayles, author of the book “How we became posthuman”, a world reference in the critical historical study of cybernetics. The participants covered a highly transdisciplinary field ranging hardcore technosciences, arts, philosophy, queer activists, (dis)abilities, cultural theorists, and other, creating a novel transdisciplinary network that will encompass the wide variety of topics that the project attempts to address. A “Manifesto for an ethics of Media in global surveillance Culture” was debated.

The event included demonstrations of novel systems of body interaction, the development of five projects on themes like posthuman and postgender, and street performances, in protest against global surveillance, in which Jaime del Val, performing as cyborg, projected on the buildings of the city the body captured through surveillance cameras placed on the skin, as it becomes amorphous through the lack of perspective, subverting the perceptual machine of global control.

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By Marion Wolfer

Marion Wolfer is a French Master student in cultural policy and management at the European Institute of Paris 8 University. She is working on cultural networks. She did an internship at Cutura21 for three months. Marion Wolfer est une étudiante de master I en politiques et gestion de la culture à l´Institut d´études européennes de l´Université de Paris 8. Elle travaille sur les réseaux culturels et a effectué un stage de trois mois au sein de Cultura21.