We look more at our screens than we look around us. Where are we while we’re doing it? In a place between reality and virtuality. To many children the world on their screens is already more real than reality. Technology and man seem more and more intertwined. And a new range of gadgets becomes even more physically intimate and is oriented directly towards our senses.
Among them is Google Glass, the new smartphone-and-camera-on-the-retina, that listens to voice commands and adds yet another layer to reality. Other new computer operated micro-camera’s, such as Autographer and Memoto, are worn on the body. They provide permanent, automatic photography and video recording, offering the promise of ‘perfect visual memory’. How will these technologies change human memory, perception and social relations? What if a second digital record of every lived experience is available in data? Will the image of reality slowly replace reality itself? Of is it even useless to keep making that distinction?
The documentary TechMan explores some of these new visual technologies and their impact on society. Technology is only human and humans have always evolved in step with technology, but the current phase of technological acceleration seems to be different. Informational sciences and biology are merging and ubiquitous computers, screens and cameras will be increasingly integrated with our biological bodies.
Where are we heading? Will intelligent technology take over ever more of our tasks? Or will we ourselves become machines? Surely, we will not remain unchanged. Is a robotic Tech Man coming our way?
The documentary TechMan features interviews with:
- Gordon Bell, author Total recall, senior researcher Microsoft
- Nick Bostrom, philosopher, director of the Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford
- Ben Hammersley, Editor at Large of Wired UK
- Daphne Horn, photographer and Google Glass Explorer
- Vili Lehdonvirta, sociologist, Oxford Internet Institute
Produced by VPRO Backlight, directed by Bregtje van der Haak