The Premediation of Identity Management in Art and Design: New Model Cyborgs – Organic & Digital


  • Sandra Wilson
  • Lilia Gomez Flores


Post 9/11, governments and large corporations are placing a stronger emphasis on security. This, together with the fact that the majority of our interactions are now conducted remotely online via a computer or smart device, means that various forms of identity management have developed; passwords, wearable tokens and more recent innovations in biometrics such as face recognition. These forms of identity management are also shaping our concept of self. Through Richard Grusin’s lens of “premediation,” [1] in which multiple futures are alive in the present, we are able to identify the taboos of identity management and discuss how art and design practices are part of this wider media phenomenon. Within scenarios of identity management the line dividing taboos from desires is often blurred, and a taboo can quickly flip into a desire, if the conditions under which that interaction take place change. We discuss the tensions between technology and the body and how many art projects are raising awareness of the loss of anonymity and privacy through the use of masks and other organic materials. We conclude that we are all becoming “new model cyborgs” [2] – a mixture of the organic and the digital in a continual process of engagement, separation and re- engagement between our bodies and technology. Finally, supporting this paper we created an interactive presentation where people can give their opinion, answering and posting questions, about current technologies and how they work with identity management. [3]

  1. Richard Grusin, Premediation: Affect and Mediality After 9/11 (New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2010), 240.
  2. Andy Clark, Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).
  3. IMprints, official Website, 2012, (accessed October 11, 2013).