Data Made Flesh
Edited by Robert Mitchell, Phillip Thurtle
Routledge – 2004 – 304 pages
In an age of cloning, cyborgs, and biotechnology, the line between bodies and bytes seems to be disappearing. Data Made Flesh is the first collection to address the increasingly important links between information and embodiment, at a moment when we are routinely tempted, in the words of Donna Haraway, "to be raptured out of the bodies that matter in the lust for information," whether in the rush to complete the Human Genome Project or in the race to clone a human being.
"By establishing once and for all the inseparability of information and materiality, signifying practices and embodiment, Data Made Flesh will fundamentally reorient future debates over human technogenesis itself. I can think of no more pressing task for technocultural criticism today." -- Mark B. N. Hansen, author of Embodying Technesis
"I found this collection inspiring, innovative and intellectually stimulating. It offers an ultra-contemporary terrain of current intellectual critique across a variety of academic disciplines and provides a new conception of the term 'information' with an emphasis on materiality and embodiment." -- Barbara M. Kennedy, coeditor of The Cybercultures Reader
"It's about time embodiment got considered in relation to data! Once one gets beyond the not outdated theories of bodies and minds, particularly those of Cartesian heritage but extending to brains-in-vats, and gets to practices and uses of digital technologies, a very different perspective emerges. Data Made Flesh does just this. It is fresh, multidisciplinary, and does its work at a high level of critical and descriptive performance. Bodies, materiality, and the dominance of an information metaphor have had some attention, but the ways in which humans within the digital and data world experience and act call for the kind of attention this book gives." -- Don Ihde, author of Bodies in Technology
Phillip Thurtle is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Robert Mitchell is Assistant Professor of English at Duke University.