“Biocode: Performing Transgression After New Media” will explore possibilities of digital transgression across multiple fields of inquiry, including gender and sexuality studies, race studies, disability studies, and transnational and border studies. Conference panels, projects, and performances will use digital media to examine how sites of vulnerability may equally become sites of transgression. It is precisely from within such spaces of vulnerability that the speakers for “Biocode” have developed a set of tactics and optics for experimenting with the interfacial potentials between digital manipulation, artistic performance, and political intervention.
“Biocode,” as a term, invokes for us the intersection of computation with life forces at the heart of these questions. A term that has been used by natural scientists to advocate a new taxonomic nomenclature for all living things, it also appears in the work of philosopher Beatriz Preciado to describe a crucial unit of power in our age of techno-capitalism. Faced with transnational, “pharmacopornographic” forces that manage and marginalize our biomatter in increasingly intrusive ways, Preciado contends that rather than pursue an agency apart, we must actively experiment within and repurpose these technologies to new political ends. Drawing inspiration from this tension, Biocode will bring a variety of artists, activists, and theorists together working on tactics of resistance, disturbance, and transgression through and in response to the digital turn.