Digital embodiment


Cartesian Dualism:

I think, therefore I am.

– Rene Descartes


This idea privileges the mind over the body. We don’t know if everything is true, it all could be a construction. The only think I know for sure that is true is thinking. If I am thinking, then I exist.

It is great thing that we can think. The separation between mind and body. What happens when you are old and can think properly anymore? It privileges the rational mind but it doesn’t account we all are bodies and spaces.

The body responds to the environment quicker than the mind. There are reflexes, and because of them we act before we think about something. Racism, sexism… the privileging of other things. Emotional experience rather than thoughts is not less important.


What is it to be embodied?

Descartes was wrong about the mind. To have body in the world, the embodiment means more than just a skin. It means plasticity. Physical embodied person, we are also able to put our mind externally (reading, writing, etc.) Our minds are parts of our body, right? Thoughts come from our head, so privileging the mind over the body is not right. We are both embodied, and we can put our ideas outside.

BROADHURST – the body adapts and cooperate the instrument in the body. In what ways are you extended beyond your skin? To get use to a tool, you incorporate it and it becomes part of your body – like writing, driving, using phone/camera. We can feel the parameters and this is how our boundaries extend. It is plasticity – to stretch beyond our bodies.


HARAWAY – we think about machine and we are the machine. Cyborg (cybernetic organism) – this is the image that infiltrates a lot of our media. This is mythical idea as well. We keep our history in ourselves. The memory, the information, the facts are what make us. We are not in complete control of ourselves actually no matter how bad we want to think we are.

We are all cyborgs now. Cyborgs are an idea, mythical thing, way to think through certain issues. Crowd mentality – when there are a lot of people on one place, a mind appears, sharing and acting in ways affected them. To be part of something bigger than yourself.

Glasses, contact lens… the body extend out of the skin, they can fix what body should do itself. We also wear clothes which keep us safe (second skin), shoes. Then we have cars, phones which extend the body more.

‘False hand experiment’ – stimulating the real and the rubber hand make the person to feel different about the false hand, no matter he knows which one is his and which is not.

BLACKMAN – singular bounded body in flesh is replaced by different technologies and practices.


'I wanted to become a cyborg too, but it costs an arm and a leg!'


  • 3D printing to design devices which can replace some part we lost (an eye for example)
  • Google glasses – with added information. How to put this technology in eye lens?
  • Wearable robot hand – to help disabled people to be in control of their movements.


TRANSCENDENCE – the idea to upload our minds on a computer. Can we really control our body? Does our engagement online take over our physical body?


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