Fabric(ated) Ontologies: the biopolitics of smart design in clothing and jewellery

RMIT University
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
The Body: Connections with Fashion - IFFTI 2008, 2008, pp. 78 - 87
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This paper exploresthe biopotiticsof smaf design as it is realised in contemporary smart clothing and jewellery. The discussion hinges on our understanding of the meanings of technology and of the relationship between technology and human ontology, i.e. human being. \f begins by exploring the assumed relationship between clothing and skin - that clothing is a form of skin, a second skin - which leads us fo explore the ways in which skin operates as a technology. My argument is that skin is not a form of technology, and that making fhis assumption leads to a re-invocation of the mind-body split, which makes human subjects susceptible to ordering by their own technology. lnstead the paper argues for recognition of clothing (and jewellery) as technology, and the examination of wearables as a more technical form of an existing technology. This enables us fo explore the ways in which human being is modified and transformed by this new technology and to choose applications that enhance the potential of individual subjects.
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