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The Digital Architecture of Kinship in Hybrid Spaces of Togetherness: Are Anthropologists critical to the 'cultural and not technical' digital dilemma? 
Bee Farrell (University of Kent)
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Tuesday 7 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

Hybrid machine/biological interfaces are filled with dichotomies of realities-simulations of togetherness. Internetworked spaces of affinity nurture emotional bonds through prosumer practices, digital activism and digital nomadism. But are these spaces meeting human or machine-made objectives?

Long Abstract:

The digital architectural of kinship presents a broad discussion opportunity. The future of human society being made by a 'switched-on universe for which no off-switch exists' complicates and masks the capacity of machine-human designed objectives. The immediacy of co-creation propels a sense of user agency, yet within wider conversations of 'attention economy' and digital 'prosumerism' (simultaneous production + consumption) is this connectivity a poisoned chalice? Who is doing the thinking in the commensal digital space human, human-machine or machine-human? Is digital transformation within human realms of consciousness?

Accelerated dependency on internetworked communication, provided by SARS-CoV-2 social restrictions, presented a time of embracing modes and channels of sociality i.e., Zoom and Teams video conference platforms or Discord, WeChat, WhatsApp and FaceTime. Bi-sensory (sound and vision) screen hyperactivity provoke new practices of relationship work entangled within digitally structured spaces of togetherness. Anthropological tropes such as individualism and embodiment, hospitality, the crowd and collectivism, bias, commensality, the senses and performance are problematised as 'experiencing has been replaced by watching'. Does sedentary and home-based lifestyle, coupled with ongoing pandemic social restrictions, generate a dominant hybrid togetherness - a comfort with virtualised relationships? Ones that plays with philosophical, ethical, psychological and cultural tensions of human-human disassociated kinship in favour of human-machine symbiotic togetherness.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 7 June, 2022, -