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Denisa Kera <[log in to unmask]>
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Denisa Kera <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 16 Jan 2010 13:59:44 +0800
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Afterlife & Death in a Digital Age 

Singapore, April 17.

As emergent technologies increasingly pervade people’s lives they

are also increasingly a part of dying and of hopes and illusions of

immortality and possible afterlife

Our interests in this workshop extend beyond issues of remembering and

commemoration to include:

    * possible immortality and afterlife through digital media;

    * cultural issues with dying, death, afterlife and technology;

    * new forms of grieving and commemorating via emerging technologies;

    * the motivation, role and function of technological responses to


    * digital archiving and the preservation of self and society;

    * the ethics of supporting death and desecration through technology;

    * the hybridisation of once living, sentient beings with other

biological and robotic entities.

Some questions we wish to address through this workshop include (but are

not restricted to):

    * How is the dash between life and death, being and oblivion reflected

in the age of digital media? How can we approach the subtleties of

different cultural practices and beliefs through design?

    * What is the technological response to the ephemerality of our

digital and physical existence? What are the issues around ordinary

technologies transforming into memorials, evoking powerful memories,

nostalgia etc?

    * What is the function of different projects offering technological

response to death and afterlife? Are we simply witnessing

technological sentimentality and kitsch and designing new forms of

"earthly and ridiculous immortality" as Milan Kundera would inspire us

to think?

    * What are different design solutions responding to? For example, are

they trying to respond to the immense indifference of nature and the

universe to human life and death?

    * How can we respond to the ever-increasing mass of digital refuse or

dead data and what are the implications of and insights

provided by reflecting on the inevitable end of


    * What are the legal and ethical implications of freedom of

choice being supported through technology, digital desecration

and the hybridisation of (the remains of) the dead with the living?

These issues promise not only to stretch our analytical approaches and

tools but also our methods, methodologies and ethical frameworks.

Denisa Kera, Ph.D

Assistant Professor 

Communications & New Media Programme

Science Technology Society Research Cluster

National University in Singapore

Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences

Block AS6, level 3

11 Computer Link, Singapore 117589

Tel: (65) 65165768 Fax: (65) 67794911 

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