IRL 2011: In Real Life exhibition and conference

Event Start: 
13/07/2011 - 01:01

Challenging, Changing and Hacking Practices of Human-Being
Hosted by the Irish Museum of Contemporary Art [IMOCA]
Conference July 13, 14 ,15; Exhibition opens Friday July 15th

In between archaic models of mind, body and society we have received as hand-me-downs, and the grandiose promises and dire threats of the future- silicon minds and psycho-pharmacological panaceas; postbiological humanity; utopian/dystopian online and realspace scenarios- a relatively thin frontline of artists, hackers, engineers, scientists- as well as the recipients of their innovations- have gotten on with applying what is possible now, experimenting, questioning and deconstructing cultural, biological and technological restrictions; living according to new concepts and interpretations of mind, the body and the shared environment, creating new categories, hacking and repurposing social conventions, wetware, hardware and software as they see fit. You don't need to fantasize about the future to be amazed at what humans can do or be, and this isn't science fiction- this is all happening in real life.

According to quadrated or integral models, consciousness is not just a localized phenomenon that can be described and measured by one set of tools, but existent in-and-because of various locations or states- internal subjective mind, the physicality of the body, and the shared socio-techno-culture arena. In this case, both art and technology share a purpose as tools of identity-actualization [or, Jung's individuation]- developing and progressing identity of the self, of the conceptual understanding of the body it inhabits and the culture which they both inhabit and help create in agreement.
Like any bell curve of the adoption of practices or technology, in the center of identity debates there is a mass of contented or agreeable people living and adhering to the status quo; there is a minority who wish to harken back to an earlier model, or have never left; and there is the small vanguard of experimenters and early-adopters, pushing the current thinking, modes and mores, and user practices.

As a title, the three letters IRL can be read as the old international shorthand for Ireland, or as the now more-popular online acronym for In Real Life [as in, meeting a Facebook friend for the first time in real life]; as an exhibition and conference, IRL takes place in both. IMOCA is now accepting briefs and proposals for workshops, papers, and three-speaker panels that introduce related topics, research and arts practices. Although our focus is on contemporary art and technology, we strongly encourage submissions by researchers and practitioners from scientific and scholastic fields and the humanities who can present topics and studies to a general audience.

Briefs need only be 300 words max; all accepted papers will need to be submitted by a specified date prior to the conference to be included in an ISBN-registered book which will launch the new publishing programme of IMOCA.

Possible topics and areas where experimentation, confrontation, and evolution are taking place:

Redefining marginalized identities
Challenging binary social systems
redefining animal consciousnesses and rights, and the effects on our relationships
gender & technology
queer studies
Mental health services

body hacking
theoretical and actual cyborgism
A.R./ A.I.
Prosthetics, HCI and augmentation- politics and practices
Systemic concepts of The Body
Embodied Cognition in application

Reactionary Conservatism, then and now
The role of hacking in a model of Technology as evolutionary development
Second life, online identities
Redefining consumer identities and product relationships
Borders, frontiers, boundaries- biological, digital, and political
New media coverage of, and Communication in, contested areas
Politics-hacking and re-engineering