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Yvonne Volkart: The body and technologies have always been located in the centre of your various enterprises as artist and media theorist and currently as the leader of a scientific research project about interfaces. From your point of view, what influence do new technologies have on the body and its perception?
Jill Scott: Yes definitely, I think really there has been a significant influence, particularly through the fantasies available in media technologies. Media technologies such as virtual reality, or real time screen interaction, can blend the represented organic body with the imaginary digital image of the body. By the same token, electronic interfaces can add artificial manipulation and digital control or navigation for the audience. However, we are also witnessing a change in body-definition from technologies like biotechnology, artificial intelligence and physics. I know that recently in these sciences there is a lot of ethical and critical reaction against reductionist practice and more interest in holistic and embodied levels of perception. Traditionally here, as Haraway says the process of science itself, of witnessing, or of bearing testimony,
has not only changed its commercial potentials, but also shifted the subjective and objective approaches of the research itself. Lately, there is an optimistic opening up of discourses about the body between scientific disciplines, which might also effect how we perceive our body in the future. Perhaps because media artists are often using the same visualization tools as scientists, and if artists feel any responsibility to reflect these issues, then perhaps combinations of art and science might have a further impact on the perception of body and its evolution in the future. This is one of the issues we wish to further develop and analyze in the project «artists-in-labs».
YV: Before discussing this important last point, I would like to know more about your assessment regarding your artistic work. What about the impact of new technologies on the body, or subjectivity or health, have these issues influenced your work? How would you describe the transformations of the body in relation to your own work and how would you relate these transformations to the question of the cyborg body?