Author Mark O’Connell draws on his acclaimed publication, To be a Machine (2016) in which to discuss our desires, delusions and use of technology to alter the human condition to escape mortality and our biological lives. This is followed by a discussion, moderated by Dr. Sinead Hogan, Lecturer & Co-Director, ARC, IADT.
To be a Machine - Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death - is the first book, by Dublin-based essayist and critic Mark O’Connell which explores the philosophical and scientific roots of transhumanism; a movement that believes we can and should use technology to control the future evolution of our species, to enable us to live, perhaps, forever. The transhumanism movement campaigns for the direct incorporation of technology into our bodies and minds, and strives to remove ageing as a cause of death. But what does this mean for human consciousness and an embodied sense of self? These are just some of the fascinating and critical questions that O’Connell’s book invites us to explore about possible futures of technology.
Programmed in collaboration with IADT- ARC as part of the IMMA digital_self public programme of talks, events and online projects invites all ages to explore the ways new technologies are transforming how the self is voiced, shaped and understood in various digital realms.
Mark O'Connell is a journalist, essayist, and literary critic from Dublin. His book, To Be a Machine: Encounters With a Post-Human Future, will be published by Granta (UK & Commonwealth) and Doubleday (US & Canada) in 2017. He is Slate’s books columnist, a staff writer at The Millions, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker’s “Page-Turner” blog; his work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Observer, and The Independent. He is also the author of the Kindle Single Epic Fail: Bad Art, Viral Fame, and the History of the Worst Thing Ever (Byliner/The Millions).
He has a PhD in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin, and in 2013 his academic monograph on the work of the novelist John Banville, John Banville’s Narcissistic Fictions, was published by Palgrave Macmillan. He was an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow from 2011 to 2012 at Trinity College, where he taught contemporary literature. For more details visit here.
This talk took place on Tuesday 30 January 2018 at IMMA.