Technologies of the New Real: Viral Contagion and Death of the Social
Published: October 2021© 2021
204 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.50 in
With astonishing speed, we have been projected into a new reality where interactions with drones, robotic bodies, and high-level surveillance are increasingly mainstream. In this age of groundbreaking developments in robotic technologies, synthetic biology is merging with artificial intelligence, forming a newly blended reality of machines, bodies, and affect.
Technologies of the New Real draws from critical intersections of technology and society – including drones, surveillance, DIY bodies, and innovations in robotic technology – to explore what these advances can tell us about our present reality, or what authors Arthur and Marilouise Kroker deem the "new real" of digital culture in the twenty-first century.
Technologies of the New Real explores the many technologies of our present reality as they infiltrate the social, political, and economic static of our everyday lives, seemingly eroding traditionally conceived boundaries between humans and machines, and rendering fully ambivalent borders between the human mind and simulated data.
2. DIY Bodies
3. Power under Surveillance, Capitalism under Suspicion
4. Dreaming with Drones
5. Robots Trekking Across the Uncanny Valley
6. Epilogue: From the Upsurge of the Blended Mind to Gen Z
"For those of us trying to navigate the maelstrom of contemporary society – with all its uncertainties, multiplicities, and vortices accelerated in our time by a global pandemic, the rise of white nationalism, the death of truth, the climate crisis, and the imminent threat of economic collapse – comes this illuminating book that provides a critical perspective from which to understand the trajectories and inertias of our current virtual realities, the anxiety of survival-mode politics at the edge of the digital abyss, and the phantasmagoria of our rapidly unfolding technological future(s)."Jackson Leween, 2bears, Associate Professor of Art and Indigenous Creative and Cultural Practice and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts Research and Technology, University of Lethbridge
"In this clear-eyed and beautifully written exploration of our digital age, Arthur and Marilouise Kroker analyze the impacts of the predatory digital machinations by economic and national hegemonic powers: constant tracking and surveillance reduce us to data or ashes; human emotion is synchronized, consciousness externalized, and culture virtualized. To call this book crucially important is an understatement."Deena Weinstein, Professor of Sociology, DePaul University
"Technologies of the New Real offers brilliant analysis of the viral world of technology that we inhabit and that inhabits us, from the body invaded and designed, to robots and bots, to drones and surveillance creating the new real of the blended self. The theoretical insights, with such revealing examples of the technologies of the new real, are terrific."David Cook, Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto