In re: skin, scholars, essayists and short story writers offer their perspectives on skin—as boundary and surface, as metaphor and physical reality. The twenty-first century and its attendant technology call for a new investigation of the intersection of body, skin, and technology. These cutting-edge writings address themes of skin and bodily transformation in an era in which we are able not only to modify our own skins—by plastic surgery, tattooing, skin graft art, and other methods—but to cross skins, merging with other bodies or colonizing multiple bodies.
The book's agile crossings of disciplinary and genre boundaries enact the very transformations they discuss. A short story imagines a manufactured maternal interface that allows a man to become pregnant, and a scholar describes the evolution of "body criticism"; a writer uses "faux science" to explore animal prints on faux fur, and fictional lovers experience one another's sexual sensations through the slipping on and off of skin-like bodysuits. Ubiquitous computational interfaces are considered as the "skin" of technology, and questions of race and color are shown to play out in digital art practice. The essays and narratives gathered in re: skin claim that the new technologically mutable body is neither purely liberating nor simply limiting; instead, these pieces show us models, ways of living in a technological culture.
Contributors: Austin Booth, Rebecca Cannon, Model T and Sara D(iamond), L. Timmel Duchamp, Mary Flanagan, Jewelle Gomez, Jennifer Gonzalez, Nalo Hopkinson, Alicia Imperiale, Shelley Jackson, Christina Lammer, David J. Leonard, Mendi + Keith Obadike, Melinda Rackham, Vivian Sobchack, Elisabeth Vonarburg, Bernadette Wegenstein
About the Editors
Mary Flanagan, artist and game designer, is Founder and Director of Tiltfactor Laboratory and Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Digital Humanities at Dartmouth College. She is the coeditor (with Austin Booth) of Reload: Rethinking Women + Cyberculture (2002) and re:skin (2002), both published by the MIT Press.
Austin Booth is Director of Collections and Research Services at State University of New York at Buffalo.