Intermezzo: The Desire of Objects: Slavery and the Sex-Life of Machines
Recording of the intermezzo "The Desire of Objects: Slavery and the Sex-Life of Machines" from January 23, 2021, which was part of the symposium "Future Bodies from a Recent Past—Sculpture, Technology, and the Body since the 1950s".
Louis Chude-Sokei is a writer and scholar researching the relationship between technology and race. While Western modernity is built on a binary distinction between these two concepts—rational, inorganic, industrial technology on the one hand, and the primitive, hyper-organic and sexually charged Black body on the other—Chude-Sokei’s texts develop a precise analysis of their parallel histories and cultural references. Discussing examples from popular culture and literature, but also the latest technological developments, he makes their shared history of thingification visible. For it is only the definition of slaves, automatons, and robots as inhuman or not-quite human that makes the white understanding of human possible. He contrasts this with a perspective of creolization.
Louis Chude-Sokei | The Desire of Objects: Slavery and the Sex-Life of Machines
Fig.: BINA48 (Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture 48), robotic face combined with chatbot functionalities, owned by Martine Rothblatt’s Terasem Movement, and modeled after Rothblatt’s wife, Hanson Robotics, 2010