December 13th, 2010

Cyborg anthropology? An interview with Portland’s Amber Case from TEDWomen


Cyborg anthropology? An interview with Portland’s Amber Case from TEDWomen

While I haven’t been able to track down her actual presentation yet, I have been able to track down an interview with Portland’s favorite cyborg anthropologist, Amber Case, who presented last week in Washington, DC, at TEDWomen.

Take a listen to what Amber had to say when PBS NewsHour caught up with her recently.

[UPDATE]

Amber’s talk from TEDWomen has been posted.

For more on the conference and the other women who spoke, visit TEDWomen.

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Background that may help (or may not)

9 Responses to “Cyborg anthropology? An interview with Portland’s Amber Case from TEDWomen”

  1. Taco Girl says:

    One of themore unintersting people coming out of Portland. Exact same message year, after, year. No ral insight. Just a flashy title.

  2. Amber Case says:

    Thanks for the comment! I was actually more people to mention this, and I understand your concern. It’s very true. Once a title sticks, it *sticks*.

    I’d love to take you out for coffee and explain why this is, if you’d be up for it.
    While I do a lot of research, it’s generally proprietary or applied to projects. In the case of this interview, I wasn’t able to go into much detail beyond introducing the interviewer to some basic concepts. While they’re quite tired to Portland and those who have heard me talk about them before, there are a lot of people outside Portland who haven’t heard about them before.

    Thus, when explaining what I do outside Portland, I sound like what I talked about 3 years ago in Portland, and there’s not much I can do about it.

    Anyway, I appreciate your honesty and welcome the feedback! I’ve thought this many times myself.

  3. Ken Westin says:

    Haters gonna hate. Amber, I hope you don’t take criticism like this too hard particularly from anonymous cowards. Many of us here in Portland are proud of what you are doing and you are an inspiration to many. To be selected to present at TEDWomen is a HUGE accomplishment! As a fellow Lewis & Clark grad I am doubly proud of you :-) keep up the great work!

  4. Keep up the good work, Amber. This is a terrific, brief explanation of where the (no longer just) human race is headed.

  5. Having worked with Amber on some of her many projects I can say that she has a keen sense of where we are, how we got here and what is inevitable. Taco Girl would benefit from listening more carefully.

  6. One of themore unintersting people coming out of Portland. Exact same message year, after, year. No ral insight. Just a flashy title.

  7. Amber Case says:

    Thanks for your comments, everyone! It’s been great working with you all over the years. Really great things take a long time to develop, and there’s been a ton of it happening in Portland. Comparatively, it’ll likely take me a long time to catch up. Being human has its limitations.

    I expected the uninteresting bit, as this was an introduction on PBS. For those who’ve heard this bit before, it’s definitely bound to be uninteresting! I did a webcast with less introductory concepts for O’Reilly earlier this year. http://oreillynet.com/pub/e/1679.

    The great thing about this community is that it allows one to practice concepts until they get strong. It takes a while to do this, as well as work on a long timescale. A lot of the theory and writing about this subject has been going on for 30-50 years, from the Macy Meetings to Sherry Turkle and Steve Mann. The only difference is that there’s a wider audience for it now.

    Also, the audience for this is often people who haven’t looked at how the tech in their pockets is affecting them. I couldn’t just jam out really awesome academic terms in a few minutes, especially if those watching on PBS had never heard anything about the concept before.

    What may be new to others is likely old hat to those who’ve seen it before. For that, I trust you understand.

  8. Traci says:

    I just happened upon this video today and admit it was the first time I’ve encountered the term “cyborg anthropology.” Amber, I think your concept eloquently describes many ideas I have been grappling with for the past few years. I’m off to learn more – thanks for the entry way in….

  9. Amber Case says:

    Thanks, Traci! I’m really glad you liked it! If you’d ever like to talk more, please feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear what you’ve been thinking about!


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