Technobiophilia -some reflections & dichotomies

Technobiophilia – what is it?

Bjork made an album and app named Biophilia, and David Attenborough has discussed biophilia with Bjork.  Edward O. Wilson originally coined the term biophilia – his hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems.

Sue Thomas created the term technobiophilia as a development from biophilia. Sue describes technobiophilia as “the innate attraction to life and lifelike processes as they appear in technology”.

So why am I writing about it, apart from it being my sister’s book, which I also drew some images for?

drawing by Carolyn Black for Technobiophilia by Sue Thomas – in response to book section about Geeks Go Camping.

Well sometimes links occur in life like a chain of events. This week David Attenborough opened a new gallery, The Attenborough Art Centre in Leicester, dedicated to socially engaged practice in the arts, in memory of his brother Richard. One might question whether socially engaged art belongs in a gallery – just as one might say that nature does not relate to technology.

That edge of enquiry is why I think this relates to technobiophilia too.

We think we know what galleries and socially engaged practice are

We think we know what nature and computers are

But are they really dichotomies – could it be possible that they work in harmony, rather than exist in opposition to each other? I know from Sue’s book that yes, the nature/computer boundary is fuzzier than we think. Maybe that is the case too with the socially engaged practice and the gallery?

I don’t know of any book (yet) that examines the gallery/socially engaged practice issue, but Technobiophilia certainly has some interesting evidence about the nature/computing question.

Worth a look – prising one’s mind open to consider these questions is what life is about!



Published by carolyn black

I'm an artist and also commission contemporary art in unusual locations. As a producer, I fundraise, curate, project manage and deliver projects. I'm also a writer and film-maker.

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