BioMe’s new PhD student will study the ethos of biohackers
On 1 September the research project BioMe had the pleasure of welcoming their new PhD student Maria Rogg. While situated within Media and Communication Studies at the Department of Informatics and Media, Marie will also be part of the WASP-HS graduate school which aims to build the foundation for future generations of AI-related expertise within the humanities and social sciences, and by that to strengthen Sweden’s and Europe’s much needed ‘soft-skills’ on AI and autonomous systems.
Firmly anchored within the existential perspectives of BioMe, Maria Rogg will study the ethos of so called biohackers or bodyhackers, and the ways in which their practices and understandings of the body calls into question our present reliance on biometric AI.
Can you explain what a biohacker is, and what makes them interesting to study?
Biohackers or bodyhackers are a community that hack their own bodies by means of technology in order to optimize it. The way I see it, deliberately or not, their practices question dualist, technocratic and masculinist perspectives on the body, and might be able to suggest how to expand our approach to subjectivity and agency.
Why do you want to do your PhD within the field of Existential Media Studies?
The question of what it means to be human in the digital age, which is the vantage point of Existential Media Studies, opens up for so many exiting venues from where to explore media as elemental, and to extend the scoop to embodied, material and affective notions along with cognitive ones. To study artificial intelligence as an existential – a human rather than technical terrain – simply seems both ultimately exiting and relevant to me!
Maria Rogg, PhD student at the Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University