Biometrics, Dualities, and Fluid Identities

Decentralized Response to the Modern Normalization of Biopower

in Screen Bodies
Author:
Melody Ling Designer, Freelance ziruling@gmail.com

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Abstract

Categorized by what Michel Foucault called the “biopolitics” of life, the modern human body is reborn into a defamiliarized incarnate social entity that embodies an ecology of different kinds of augmentations. How do the mechanisms of biopolitics create normalized bodies and identities, and what are the real stakes of this new biopolitical power? This article investigates a genealogy toward the contemporary definition of identity and how biopolitics induces and creates a modern milieu of dualities. It then proposes a concept of “fluid identities” as a disruptive, provocative, and whimsical design intervention. It recognizes fluidity to be a presumed agentic human condition and a widely acceptable social factor; it recognizes identities to be “fragmented yet authentic” and “incomplete but sufficient.”

Contributor Notes

Melody Ling is a multimedia and interaction designer, as well as a speculative and critical mediator, whose practice sits at the intersection of interaction design, media art, critical theories, and emerging technologies. Applying human-centered design and speculative/critical evaluation as methods, she aims at using design to mediate behaviors and empower human beings through embodied experiences, while reflecting on current trends and a better technology-mediated future. She works across a multitude of media, including digital applications, physical computing, interactive videos, embodied interfaces, installations, writing, and sound design. Using theory and making as the two pillars of her design morale, her personal research and artistic practices focus on the techno-bio and digital augmentations of contemporary human identities, and how might design intervenes by giving agency back to human beings. Email: ziruling@gmail.com

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Screen Bodies

The Journal of Embodiment, Media Arts, and Technology

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