I will give a talk at the conference Control, Stockholm, June 14-17, 2016 at the 10th European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts Conference.
I co-organized the panel „Touch, Decision, Vision – Practices of Remote Control in Warfare“ together with Kathrin Friedrich and Nina Franz: Surgical interventions and military operations have become significantly depended on the separation of bodies through technology. Robotic surgery or drone warfare have shown that human actors increasingly rely on remote interaction. While the practice of controlling distance through technology has different motivations, such as touchless interaction to maintain sterility or remotely controlled weapons to reduce vulnerability, the underlying question in medicine and warfare is the same: if action and perception are mediated by technical devices to what extend do the technologies of remote control shape, impact and govern medical and military decisions and actions? The presentations in this panel will explore three specific modalities of remote control, namely touch, decision and vision in military and surgical contexts. By drawing on historical examples as well as on current problems and challenges of remote control, the papers investigate their fundamental principles for interaction and intervention.