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Digital Human, Series 5 Episode 5 of 6

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 05 May 2014

Digital devices operate in binary ways; either they're working or they're a brick! Aleks Krotoski asks what this means for our natural instincts as tool builders and tool breakers?

As technology becomes more resistant to prying fingers and minds are we losing the ability to imagine it differently? Take the dying art of tuning an engine it can make cars faster and more efficient but only comes through a symbiotic relationship between mechanic and machine and of course every child knows the joy of taking something apart to see how it works at least until they're caught doing it

Are these the same sensibilities we see in the digital world? From hacking to playing a video game in such a perverse way as to see if it can be broken? Do the constraints of digital technology lock us out of our devices; licensing us to only use them in the prescribed ways, that while convenient are also dis-empowering?

Producer: Peter McManus.

Music Played

6 items
  • Image for ISAN

    ISAN Device

    Glow in the Dark Safari Set

  • Image for Hauschka

    Hauschka Ginsterweg

    Snowflakes & Carwrecks

  • Image for Gene Vincent

    Gene Vincent Well I Knocked, Bim Bam

  • Image for ISAN

    ISAN SAT 73

    Meet Next Life

  • Image for Lullatone

    Lullatone The Hands of a Clock

    Songs That Spin in Circles

  • Image for ISAN

    ISAN What this Button Did

    Lucky Cat

  • Professor Thomas M. Malaby

    Thomas M. Malaby

    Thomas Malaby is Professor and Chair of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he studies virtual worlds, games, institutions, and indeterminacy.

    His primary interest is in the relationships among institutions, unpredictability, and technology, particularly as they are realized through games and game-like processes.

  • Jamie Gibbon

    Classic Mini
    Jamie Gibbon has been driving and tinkering with cars since he was 12. It's a family tradition with his father building and racing cars during 1940s and 50s. Jamie works on his beloved Jaguars and other classic cars in his workshop in the north of Glasgow.
  • Edinburgh Hacklab

    Grace Kane
    Grace Kane is a founding member of the Edinburgh Hacklab, part of the worldwide movement of Hackerspaces – shared spaces for people who mess around with technology for fun. Edinburgh Hacklab was launched on 24th August 2010 and is now based at Summerhall on the south side of Edinburgh. If you’d like to see or use the space, contact us or come to one of our open events.
  • Rosa Menkman

    Glitch artist Rosa Menkman

    Rosa Menkman is a Dutch artist and theorist who likes to focus on visual artifacts created by accidents in both analogue and digital media.

    " The visuals I make are the result of glitches, compressions, feedback and other forms of noise. Although many people perceive these accidents as negative experiences, I emphasize their positive consequences: I believe that these artifacts facilitate an important insight into the otherwise obscure world of media resolutions. "

  • Kurt J. Mack

    Kurt J Mack

    On the 28th March 2011 Kurt J Mack loaded a new of Minecraft and since then he's been walking west in search of the edge of this infintelty generating universe the farlands. Its a quest he's been sharing in a youtube game channel  - Farlands or Bust.


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