FleshFactor FleshFactor


'Welcome to FleshFactor'

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"

FLESHFACTOR/informationmaschine mensch

Hello and welcome to the FleshFactor Net-Symposium.

This is Tom Sherman writing and I'll be the moderator for this
year's on-line net-symposium.  This year's focus will be the
'Fleshfactor', the position, status or condition of the
individual within the technocultural information environment. 
This information environment is often described as our 'second
nature'.  As our 'natural environment' has changed, so has the

Last year Ars Electronica hosted both a net- and live symposium
called 'Memesis: the Future of Evolution'.  The Memesis symposia
developed ways of thinking about and discussing global
technocultural evolution and the possibility of the emergence of
a post-biological, cyberorganic evolutionary track--an eventual
global intelligence based on universal binary codes, of which the
first protozoans of such an evolution may have names like the
Internet, the I-way and Cyberspace.  The Memesis symposia
elaborated on ideas stemming from reductionist scientific
theories, specifically the concept of 'memes' (cultural genes)
put forth by Richard Dawkins, the Oxford University-based
Lecturer in Zoology.

Last year's Memesis Net-Symposium remains on the Ars Electronica
server and is available at:  www.aec.at/meme/symp   This text
database of the Memesis Net-Symposium provides an important
information substrata for this year's FleshFactor discussion.

As a starting point for FleshFactor, Gerfried Stocker, the
Director of Ars Electronica, has authored a first statement
defining the conceptual territory of the FleshFactor Net-
Symposium.  Please read this text carefully, for this will be our
point of departure.  His FleshFactor text is published here in
English and in its original German.  To maximize global
participation in this net-symposium, we respectfully request that
all subsequent texts be submitted in English.

This year's net-symposium is an open affair.  If you have
opinions, questions or information about the position, status or
condition of the individual in this world constructed of
increasingly complex, rapidly evolving technocultural systems, we
ask you to help us flesh out a new contemporary definition of the
individual.  Please share your thoughts, feelings, insights,
information.  This net-symposium will undoubtedly anticipate and
prescribe the nature of the live discussions at the 1997 Ars
Electronica Festival in Linz this September 8-13, 1997.

Send your opening and/or ongoing remarks on the
FleshFactor to:  fleshfactor@aec.at 

It will be assumed that messages sent to this 'fleshfactor'
address are meant to be distributed via the Ars Electronica
website--questions or comments not meant to be public should be
addressed to me at:  twsherma@mailbox.syr.edu 

We are looking forward to hearing from you.  Thanking you in
advance for your thoughtful and key participation, let us get
started...  There are many important things for us to discuss.

Sincerely,    Tom Sherman, April 7, 1997



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