Calls for Papers

Afterlife & Death in the Digital Age Call for Papers

Afterlife & Death in the Digital Age

Denisa Kera, National University of Singapore

Saturday 17th April 2010

Seminar program

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 mortality;
• 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 ‘civilisation’?
• 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.

Please submit your abstract on or before February 15, 2010. We will indicate the acceptability of your abstract before February 19, 2010 and provide brief feedback by March 5, 2010. Extended versions of abstracts should be submitted before March 14, 2010.


Posted by:  Lanfranco Aceti