(becoming symborg)

Melinda Rackham and Damien Everett

carrier (becoming symborg)

The hepatitis C virus is hauntingly personified in this portmanteau multimedia piece. In envisioning the virus as a conscious agent, carrier enables us to think of the disease and the sufferings of those afflicted with it in a new light.

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Author description: carrier investigates the fluid boundaries of the body and the self via viral symbiosis in the biological and virtual domains by weaving an intimate love story between the viewer and the hepatitis C virus. The site integrates artificial and viral intelligence with immune system and computer operating system discourse within the swarming electronically networked nervous system of our planet — the world wide web, immersing the viewer in VRML worlds, Shockwave games, and Java-generated textual landscapes. We are lead through the site by sHe, an intelligent viral agent, who crosses our species boundary, penetrating our cellular core, repositioning viral infection as positive biological merging with the flesh. We become symborg as the boundaries between human / machine / species dissolve. carrier comes in several versions, allowing the viewer to navigate alone or with the virus, as well an offline gallery stand-alone version.

Instructions: To hear the sound, turn on the computer's speakers or plug in headphones. Part of carrier is in VRML; a plug-in is required for this part of the piecew. Parallel Graphics produces a free VRML plug-in called Cortona, available for download at carrier can be navigated by answering the questions prompted by the virus, and interacting with the media that is displayed in the center of the window.

Previous publication: carrier was published by Rackham in 1999 on her site,

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.