Mediating the Human Body: Technology, Communication, and Fashion

Mediating the Human Body: Technology, Communication, and Fashion

Mediating the Human Body: Technology, Communication, and Fashion

Mediating the Human Body: Technology, Communication, and Fashion

Synopsis

The ever-increasing integration of technology and the human body is attracting attention from religious, business, and political leaders around the world, and the topic promises to be a significant social issue in the 21st century. In Mediating the Human Body: Technology, Communication, and Fashion, editors Leopoldina Fortunati, James E. Katz, and Raimonda Riccini bring together a thoughtful group of leading international scholars and analysts to explore the effects of new technologies on human beings. They focus specifically on the intersection of new communication technologies and the body, and offer novel insights based on recent theoretical progress and current research on new interpersonal technology. Through literary analysis, historical comparisons, analytical reports, and speculative interpretations, the contributors to this volume seek to understand the experience of the body as it is mediated among competing forces and intellectual domains. Arising from The Human Body Between Technologies, Communication and Fashion symposium held in Milan, Italy, contributions cover a wide array of topics and offer varied perspectives on how communication technologies are assimilated into people's lives, bodies, and homes, and thus become part of individuals' self-images and social relationships. From this multidisciplinary, multi-national base, the volume illuminates the sense and dimension of this interpenetration between body and technology. In its broad scope, the topics range from the wellsprings of consciousness to the use of technology as a fashion statement. Bringing together scholarship from a variety of disciplines, including communication, medicine, technology, and human-computer interaction, this distinctive anthology will provide new insights to scholars and advanced students exploring body-technology intersections and the attendant implications. Mediating the Human Body offers a unique contribution to future discussions, and will be relevant to continuing study and research in communication and technology, human-computer interaction, gender studies, social psychology, and design.

Excerpt

The chapters of this book are based on the international conference “Il corpo umano tra tecnologie, comunicazione e moda / The Human Body between Technologies, Communication and Fashion, ” January 11–12, 2001. The conference was held at one of Italy's most renowned cultural institutions, the Triennale di Milano, which as a center of art and culture, and both a museum and a center of creativity, was an ideal location. The Fashion and Events Department of Milan's City Council was a major sponsor of this conference, although many other important institutions also joined in sponsorship. The Department undertook sponsorship to help foster progress in an area of concern for the Department, and indeed for the leadership of the city of Milan, namely advancing analysis of trends in fashion, design, and art, as well as fostering dialogue and interaction among the communities of experts concerned with these issues. As Alderman for this Department, I am pleased to have this opportunity to offer a perspective on the importance of the conference.

The conference had a noble goal: to explore the effects of the new technologies on human beings. The specific focus was the intersection of new communication technologies and the body. Conference sponsorship is an important part of the Fashion and Events Department's continuing promotion of meaningful interaction between those concerned with arranging fashion events in Milan, the companies involved with technological operations that produce material for the fashion industry, and scholars working in the new languages of communication. The Fashion and Events Department believes that occasions such as this allow the leaders of these systems to meet and discuss issues of fundamental and mutual importance. These include the cultural and economic future of the Milan region and the advancement of the quality of life throughout the industrial world. The conference offered the opportunity to learn from each other's experience and to create a novel, powerful synthes is between the cultural and operational spheres.

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