Biodigital jazz

I co-edited a special issue of Communications with Caroline Bassett and Maren Hartmann recently – it was an outcome of a workshop and collaboration with the ECREA digital culture and communication section. We enjoyed working on this and being in contact with everyone who contributed to it. I got to write about the film Tron Legacy which I really appreciated. I linked this to bodies in digital culture and even got to use the quote ‘Biodigital Jazz’ from the film, which shows that the term biodigital also turns up in popular culture.

Revisiting digital technologies: envisioning biodigital bodies

Citation Information: Communications. Volume 36, Issue 3, Pages 291–312, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059,DOI: 10.1515/comm.2011.015, August 2011


In this paper the contemporary practices of human genomics in the 21stcentury are placed alongside the digital bodies of the 1990s. The primary aim is to provide a trajectory of the biodigital as follows: First, digital bodies and biodigital bodies were both part of the spectacular imaginaries of early cybercultures. Second, these spectacular digital bodies were supplemented in the mid-1990s by digital bodywork practices that have become an important dimension of everyday communication. Third, the spectacle of biodigital bodies is in the process of being supplemented by biodigital bodywork practices, through personal or direct-to-consumer genomics. This shift moves a form of biodigital communication into the everyday. Finally, what can be learned from putting the trajectories of digital and biodigital bodies together is that the degree of this communicative shift may be obscured through the doubled attachment of personal genomics to everyday digital culture and high-tech spectacle.

Keywords:: genomics biodigital bodies spectacle everyday

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