SKIN: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Cybernetic Containers

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Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology

SKIN: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Cybernetic Containers

April 8, 2016 York University, Toronto, Ontario

Simultaneously vessel and vehicle, barrier and transmitter, costume and identity, screen and interface, skin has emerged as an erotic, political, productive, and flexible contemporary concept. Mobilized, harvested, grafted, and incorporated by artists, scientists and theorists into new technological, biological, and social assemblages, skin appears as shared feature and conduit between the human, animal and machine. Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts & Technology is currently inviting cross-disciplinary proposals for the second annual Graduate Symposium – SKIN: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Cybernetic Containers – that embody and/or engage critically with the potentialities and intersections of technology, phenomenology, and affect and the multiple discourses that manifest skin.

Possible topics for papers include but are not limited to:

Conceptions of skin, layers, membranes, and all of their parallels
Screens and interfaces
Bio-semantics, bio-philosophy, and bio-art
Digital and bodily cartographies
Conventional, plastic, and cosmetic surgeries
Cyborgs and the posthuman
Transformation and transformative technologies
Biological and technological assemblages
Contemporary images/representations of skin in film, television, pornography, theatre, literature, games, and dance.
Science fiction

This one-day symposium will offer a unique symbiotic opportunity for emerging researchers and artists to gather, exchange, bond, and cross-fertilize future landscapes for research materializing at disciplinary boundaries.

Presentation formats:

Papers, posters, workshops, round tables, interventions/performances, presentations – traditional and experimental – and other emerging forms will all be considered. We encourage cross-disciplinary interpretations, variations and unforeseen mutations of our working themes.


We invite papers and presentations that critique, consider, and construct the intersection of art, science, the body, and technology and iterations therein. Please send a 300 word abstract, along with a working title, short biography, and contact information. If you would like to submit a joint proposal with several researchers/artists please send only one application that includes collective biographical and contact information. Specify the format of your presentation, keeping in mind it should be no longer than 20 minutes in length (with 90 minutes for panels and/or round tables). The final date for submissions is February 15, 2016 at 11:59pm EST.


Keynote Speaker: We are pleased to welcome Laura Wiebe as our speaker for the 2016 Symposium. Wiebe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Popular Culture, Communication, and Film at Brock University and the Vice-President of the Canadian Popular Culture Association of Canada. She specializes in considerations of science and technology, popular culture, and music. You can find Laura online at

About Sensorium:

Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology is an experimental research centre based out of York University that supports cross-disciplinary work in all areas that intersect with digital media practices. Sensorium is a nexus for new ideas and experimentation that incorporates work from diverse fields of study and creates spaces for innovative dialogue. More information is available at:


Registration fee for the conference is $50 pending acceptance – fee includes boxed lunch, coffee, and evening reception.