126 episodes

Aleks Krotoski explores the digital world

The Digital Human BBC

    • Technology

Aleks Krotoski explores the digital world

    Stream

    Stream

    Since March this year - 2020 - venues have been black. Performers and live audiences are separated by COVID-19. Had it lasted a week, maybe two, things might not have changed. But as with the rest of our lives, technology has had to step in to give a lifeline to those who make their living from live performance. Aleks asks whether streaming online commodifies and commercialises artists and cultural scenes by turning what they do into just more online content? Or will streaming, together with limitations, promote greater creativity from the re- imagining of performance through the use of technology, to engage and reach audiences?

    Producer Kate Bissell
    Researcher Juliet Conway

    • 28 min
    Monstrous

    Monstrous

    The monsters we create have always given us insight into what we're scared of in the world around us. Whether that's zombies igniting fears around racial tensions in the United States of the nineteen sixties or Dracula articulating a fear of the other and of immigration at the end of nineteenth century.

    Aleks Krotoski asks what those monsters born in tech tell us about our fears today.

    Producer: Peter McManus

    • 30 min
    Sacred

    Sacred

    In Maori culture, images and objects or treasures can come to embody a person. However when the Maori were first confronted with portrait photography they initially responded by hiding from the camera, fearful that their 'mauri', or life force, would be lost. Professor Deidre Brown explains though how the Maori began to see the new medium as an effective method of embodying the 'wairua', or everlasting spirit, of a person.

    Robin Finn was very close to her mother, they spoke to each other several times a day. After her mother's death Robin decided to keep their phone-mediated relationship alive and continued ringing her mum and leaving voicemails. Robin fantastically hoped that maybe these messages were being sent out into the cosmos and her mum would somehow receive them. For Robin, her mother's mobile helps to keep her 'Mauri', or life force, alive.

    David Glowacki is a Royal Society Research Fellow who runs the 'Intangible Realities Lab' at the University of Bristol. David is interested in aesthetic metaphors that guide scientific imagination. He believes this is particularly important in domains which cannot be seen with the naked eye, where our scientific intuition is guided by the aesthetic representations and metaphors we use to imagine phenomena which are otherwise invisible. David uses virtual reality to bring to life molecular physics and quantum dynamics, particularly in relation to the idea of matter and energy. David says watching colleagues interact with the virtual visualisations of molecular physics inspired him to design VR which explores how energy connects to the sacred.

    Aleks asks if technology really can give us a greater understanding of our relationship with the sacred.

    Producer Kate Bissell
    Researcher Juliet Conway

    • 28 min
    Nocturne

    Nocturne

    There's a perception that it’s always daytime on the internet. What that misses is that it’s not always the case for us when we go there. We gravitate to different parts of the digital world during the night. We slow down without the bombardment of emails updates and notifications.

    We become explorers of soundscapes on meditation apps, we listen to soft, soothing mumblings on podcasts lulling us to sleep. For those digital night owls, it’s an Alice like experience falling through a labyrinth of interconnected internet rabbit holes discovering subjects you wouldn’t even have thought about when the sun is up.

    In this episode Aleks celebrates 'noctunality' on the internet whether for those seeking sleep or those for whom this is the time to wake up.

    Producer: Peter McManus

    • 29 min
    Trust

    Trust

    If there’s one thing that makes the world go ‘round, it’s trust - trust in institutions, trust in science, trust in the economy, trust in each other. Trust is what protects our vulnerability; it’s behind the unspoken social contracts that keep us safe. Without trust, we’re done.

    And since the beginning of our love-hate relationship with the Web, we’ve been wondering: is computer-mediated communication eroding trust? Or, does it make trust stronger? Or, are we more likely to misplace it more now that we can’t see, touch and smell a person’s true intentions?

    Producer: Kate Bissell

    • 28 min
    Solidarity

    Solidarity

    The digital world has given us the tools to support one another through the coming financial crisis in the wake of the pandemic. Aleks Krotoski asks if crowd funding is a magic bullet for giving to those whose livelihoods have suffered?

    And what makes us give in the first place if it’s, as many are reporting, a new form of economic survivor guilt do we risk that being manipulated?

    Producer: Peter McManus

    • 29 min

Top Podcasts In Technology

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by BBC