This year at Transmediale, among all the themes debated or approached by conferences and art pieces I retained those three : Digital identity, Emotions and Social interactions.
Concerning social interaction, the last Sherry Turkle‘s book were discussed at some point, saying that depending on the age of the user, too much exposure to social digital interaction could reduce our IRL interpersonal skills. Parents and children relationship might be modified by the machine.
The pervasive capacity of the network surrounding ourselves were said to be as much threatening than exiting, for instance the network never abandons us therefore our private sphere disappear but on the other hand we have developed new senses, the one to sense the network and move to catch it up.
The notion of telepresence where also raised, the machine extends our presence and in the end, to surrender our ubiquity and connectivity seems to become a new challenge.
Artists as Ursula Endlicher where present with a piece called “InterACTicons” where she propose the public to redefine famous social key words that lost their meaning (friend, share, follow…).
Concerning emotions, the challenge is to convey it through the machine. We use emoticons as really abrupt summary of emotion.
We talked about technologies allowing ourselves to wear other people emotions. It has been a theme discussed between a search for a new emotional grammar and the pointlessness of such a technology as human is already able of empathy.