Lemonsblack is exploring and provoking the challenges for the digital world. With focus on how technology integrates with traditional life, media, art and culture blurring the line between the virtual and real worlds. This blog is a timeline connecting the dots for what lies ahead in our increasingly digitizing world of wired social and shared hybrid selfs.
As we offload more of our tasks into technology we enhance our adaptability while undermining our own innate resilience as animals. We wrap ourselves in extended suits of shelter, mobility, health, and communications. We distribute our senses through a global network of hypermedia, augmenting our brains with satellites & server farms & smart phones. Increasingly, our minds & bodies are becoming the convergence point for both the real & the virtual, mediated through miniaturization, dematerialization, and nano-scale hybridization. Our ability to craft the world around us is quickly advancing to give us the ability to craft our bodies & our selves.
The deep union of ourselves with our inventions is not new. If a cyborg means a being that is part biological and part technological then we humans began as cyborgs, and still are. Our ancestors first chipped stone scrapers 2.5 million years ago to give themselves claws. By about 250,000 years ago they devised crude techniques for cooking, or pre-digesting, with fire. Cooking acts as a supplemental external stomach. Once humans acquired this artificial organ it permitted them to evolve smaller teeth and smaller jaw muscles and provided more kinds of stuff to eat. Our invention altered us.
We are not the same folks who marched out of Africa. Our genes have co-evolved with our inventions. In the past 10,000 years alone, in fact, our genes have evolved 100 times faster than the average rate for the previous 6 million years. This should not be a surprise. As we domesticated the dog (in all its breeds) from wolves and bred cows and corn and more from their unrecognizable ancestors, we, too, have been domesticated….
Clearly, we are self-made. We are the first technology. We are part inventor and part the invented. We have used our minds to manufacture our selves and thus we humans today are the first cyborgs. We have invented ourselves. And we are not done yet.
In the modern world, our identities include the social networks & affinity groups in which we participate, the digital media we capture & create & upload, the avatars we wear, and the myriad other fragments of ourselves we leave around the web. Who we are as individuals reflects the unique array of technologies through which we engage the world, at times instantiated through multiple masks of diverse utility, at other times fractured & dis-integrated – too many selves with too many virtual fingers picking at them. Our experience of life is increasingly composed of data & virtual events, cloudy & intangible yet remote-wired into our brains through re-targeted reward systems. A Twitter re-tweet makes us happy, a hostile blog comment makes us angry, the real-time web feeds our addiction to novelty. Memories are offloaded to digital storage mediums. Pictures, travel videos, art, calendars, phone numbers, thoughts & treatises…
So much of who we are and who we have been is already virtualized & invested in cybernetic systems. All those tweets & blog posts cast into the cloud as digital moments captured & recorded. Every time I share a part of me with the digital world I become copied, distributed, more than myself yet… in pieces.
My name is Bartel Scheers. I’m a veteran strategic marketing communications specialist and a cherry addict. As an entrepreneur I’ve started several successful international businesses in the Internet, media and entertainment industry. As a guest lecturer I teach corporate identity, branding and ethics. This is my personal blog with things of interest to me, which is mostly the blurring line between the real and virtual worlds, the struggle between old and new, art, and media.
As a creative strategist I work on complex (digital) communications issues for international industry leading companies, organizations and agencies. Over the last twenty years I’ve built a successful international career as a strategic executive implementing a variety of online and off line programs for companies like Walt Disney, Microsoft, Mozilla or Tommy Hilfiger. Being a marketing geek I’ve been involved with the Web since it’s early start and have developed unique skills that combine both technical and creative areas of expertise enabling me to effectively manage both technical and creative teams in an international environment.
You’re welcome to contact me at
or post a DM on Twitter to @bartel