Ageing CompanionsLes cyborgs viellissantsGeprogrammeerde veroudering

Ageing companions (a worksession with three titles) explored the interconnected ageing of bodies and technologies. The lifecycles of different species are linked via electronic circuits with limited lifespan: accessories that measure biorhythms or monitor the growth-rate of specimens; interactive medical implants, networked pacemakers or wireless defibrillators are an everyday reality. As minerals, plants, animals, people and machines wear out, the technologies they carry and/or are part of, age as well. The ageing processes of biological and technological merge and it is not always so clear whether we are faced with physical or programmed obsolescence.


Open Call

Illustration: Alice Mortiaux

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A list of references to moving images, videos, films was made available before the worksession and updated along the way.



Helen Pritchard proposed a set of reading materials:


Matthias Pitscher, Azahara Ubera Biedma, Anja Hertenberger, Marije Baalman, Rebecca Louise Breuer, Riek Sijbring, Fanny Zaman, Blanca Callen, Laura Benitez, Konstantin Mitrokhov, Maria Dada, Helen Pritchard, Claudia Borges, Joana Chicau, Lionel Broye, Constanza, Emile Devereaux, Andrea Charise, Kristin Neidlinger, Anne-Laure Buisson, Donatella Portoghese, Femke Snelting, Gregor, Jara Rocha, Martino Morandi, Peter Westenberg, Wendy Van Wynsberghe, Zoumana Méïté


Workshop proposed by Marije Baalman, Riek Sijbring, Anja Hertenberger

What would you write in a loveletter to the device you feel most intimate with? How to touch the room and make others touch it? How to move with different attachments?

Visit to IMEC and COSIC

During a visit to the IMEC tower in Leuven we were toured along the ‘cleanrooms’ by Thomas Kallstenius followed by an on-line conversation with Eduard Marin on pacemaker security, and a reading session provoked by Helen Pritchard. The cleanroom visit was ‘confidential’ so there are no pictures or recordings from this visit.

Provocation Helen Pritchard

Pianorama Cinema

Film programme within the framework of senior cinema Pianorama. With care robots, digital grandmothers and hybrid animals. Cake, coffee and discussion included!

Zoumana Meite workshop

Performer and theater-maker Zoumana Meite proposed a workshop on device-related blot patterns.

Zoumana Meite performance

A public performance on Saturday afternoon. Zoumana performed with electromagnetic devices to explore what old ideas of ’soul’ these so-called new technologies might carry. Using his observations from participating in the worksession, he moved with radio-waves, ink-drops and the memories of his own body.

I form the vision of a black ink drop falling in my eye, bringing a recollection of the possible. I see each and every hesitation, trembling, shaking like an oscillography of my flesh, magnetically charged. Those objectivised vibrations in front of us are spread and spattered spores, generating other hesitations, doubts, … slides of an oriented gesture. I partially charge my flesh with a strong craving, something obsessing me. I gather liquid from my liver on blottingpaper. Drops of an (id)entity …

Processes, prototypes, research

Area of work: Bitflipping - Ageing on the command line - semi-conductor

Is it worth it? Let me work it
I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it
Ti esrever dna ti pilf, nwod gniht ym tup
Ti esrever dna ti pilf, nwod gniht ym tup
If you got a big, let me search ya
And find out how hard I gotta work ya
Ti esrever dna ti pilf, nwod gniht ym tup
Ti esrever dna ti pilf, nwod gniht ym tup
(Missy Elliott)

Area of work: Ageing/Queering interfaces

Area of work: The unthought - The Vibration - Touch

How to be a water kettle

Area of work: Micro-awareness - Mirror matter touch - empathy with material others, human and non human others

Area of work: Organising/caretaking

A ball full of water

Fanny Zaman, sound recording of the practice “A ball full of water”:

Collected documents/documentation