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Leonardo LASER Talk - The Future of the Body in the Context of Neurotechnology


23. September 2019
18:15 - 20:00

Medical University of Vienna
Center for Public Health
Seminar Room 3 "Bianca von Bienenfeld"
Kinderspitalgasse 15
1090 Vienna

The Future of the Body in the Context of Neurotechnology

A joint LASER of the Center of Public Health, Vienna Medical University and Biofaction Vienna

Emerging neurotechnologies (NT) allow for technological modifications of the body in which technology replaces or augments bodily functions by means of surgical interventions (implants, prostheses), the use of technologies which modify the body without such interventions (non-invasive neurostimulation technologies), and the coupling of humans and artefacts via brain-machine interface technology. These current and future NT applications open up philosophical questions about the embodiment and agency as core concepts regarding mechanised corporeality, but also about the overall social and cultural significance of NTs and of broader visions of the future of the human body. We also want to learn from actual end users of NT how they perceive their environment. Finally we shed a light on how artists and designers reflect and speculate about the possibilities and implications of NT. 


LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) Talks is Leonardo's international program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversations. The LASER Talks program is now in over twenty cities around the world with over two dozen partners and serves thousands of community members.



Leonardo was founded in 1968 in Paris by kinetic artist and astronautical pioneer Frank Malina who saw the need for a journal to serve as an international channel of communication among artists, with emphasis on the writings of artists who use science and developing technologies in their work. Published by The MIT Press and led by executive editor Roger Malina, Leonardo has become the leading international peer-reviewed journal on the use of contemporary science and technology in the arts and music and, increasingly, the application and influence of the arts and humanities on science and technology.



Oskar C. Aszmann (AT)
Broadband prosthetic interfaces: Combining cognitive nerve transfers and implantable multichannel EMG technology to decode spinal motor neuron activity

Oskar C. Aszmann is Professor at the Medical University of Vienna Medical University. He heads the Group of Bionic reconstruction and develops surgical techniques of neuromuscular reconstruction alone or in combination with complex mechatronic devices.

Christoph GUGER (AT)
Current and future applications of brain-computer interfaces (10-15 min)

Christoph Guger is the CEO of g.tec medical engineering GmbH and the company builds brain-computer interfaces system for research and medical applications.

Enno PARK (DE)
How my cochlea implant changed my perspective on the environment (10-15 min)

Enno Park is deaf but hearing with cochlea-implants. He is co-founder of Cyborgs e.V., an association coping with the relation between humans and technology and their merging. The previous business IT specialist is studying philosophy of technology and taking part in public debate with several publications and lectures.

Oliver MÜLLER (DE)
Does neurotechnology change our sense of agency? (10 min)

Oliver Müller is professor of philosophy at the University of Freiburg, with a research focus on philosophy of technology

Emanuel GOLLOB (AT)
Doing Nothing with AI (10 min)

Emanuel Gollob is running his own design studio since 2017 and is currently working on the EEG-data-based robotic installation "Doing Nothing with AI" with a multidisciplinary team.




Markus is the founder and CEO of Biofaction, Vienna. He initiated a number of art-science activities, including the BIO·FICTION Science Art and Film Festival.

Christopher COENEN (DE) at ITAS Karlsruhe, Christopher focuses on the societal, ethical, philosophical, cultural and political aspects of emerging technosciences, especially  at the intersection of biology and technology.

Klaus SPIESS (AT) heads the Arts&Science program at the Medical University Vienna, Center of Public Health  as an Associate Professor.