Resisting Biometrics/Evolving Cyberebonics
To extend the point further, Biometrics also assumes that the subjects of it’s ‘othering’ gaze reside wholly and definably within the realm of the body, and the body when seen in isolation/opposition to the cerebral and technological is conventionally the domain of the ‘black’. It therefore becomes a double imperative that the presumptions which underlie this set of binary oppositions is subjected to scrutiny, especially at those points within which the black subject, as artist, technologist, researcher or end user becomes a key actor within the technological domain.Much has been written about the multiple ways in which artists of colour have constructed complex strategies through which our assumed exclusion from the technological domain is systematically challenged. Musical traditions for example, so often misread as the exclusive domain of the body, has, in notable cases, such as within the evolution of Jamaican Reggae, been generated through a complex and evolutionary exchange between social and festive forms and available sound recording, broadcast and distribution technologies. The further evolutionary development of related dance-hall and DJ orientated forms such as hip-hop and the resultant mushrooming of myriad dance music styles are further evidence of the impact of digital sampling and sequencing tool sets when applied within a ‘black’ creative context.
The perception of the black artist as an innovative end user of digital technologies within both contemporary music and the visual and filmic arts has by now percolated through into the popular consciousness. More contentious perhaps is the perception of the black as key and active player within the innovation of the technological toolsets themselves, as scientist, programmer and innovator.