-empyre- Ollivier Dyens

Ollivier Dyens was born in Rome, Italy but arrived in Canada at age three. He spend most of is adult life in Montreal. After completing his Ph.D. at University of Montreal, he taught five years at Sainte-Anne University in Nova Scotia, before getting a position at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He now teaches full time in the Department of French at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

Ollivier Dyens is an artist, an essayist and a poet. In 2000, he published Chair et Métal (Metal and Flesh) a book that examines today's cultural and technological evolution. The French version is distributed by Les Éditions VLB in Montreal, while the English one is handled by MIT Press. Chair et Métal won the award for Best Essay from the Société des écrivains canadiens. Ollivier Dyens is also the founder of Feux chalins, the only French literary magazine in Nova Scotia, and Metal and Flesh an online magazine the examines the human-machine society we live in

Metal and Flesh (the book): For more than 3,000 years, humans have explored uncharted geographic and spiritual realms. Present-day explorers face new territories born from the coupling of living tissue and metal, strange lifeforms that are intelligent but unconscious, neither completely alive nor dead. Our bodies are now made of machines, images, and information. We are becoming cultural bodies in a world inhabited by cyborgs, clones, genetically modified animals, and innumerable species of human/information symbionts. Ollivier Dyens's Metal and Flesh is about two closely related phenomena: the technologically induced transformation of our perceptions of the world and the emergence of a cultural biology. Culture, according to Dyens, is taking control of the biosphere. Focusing on the twentieth century--which will be remembered as the century in which the living body was blurred, molded, and transformed by technology and culture--Dyens ruminates on the undeniable and irreversible human/machine entanglement that is changing the very nature of our lives.

The Metal and Flesh website's main concern is to examine, conceptually but also artistically and visually, the many different forms of human thoughts in an age of machines. We, at Metal and Flesh, strongly believe that a new media demands both a new language and a new narrative. So far Metal and Flesh has published articles by Noam Chomsky, Bruce Sterling, Pierre Lévy, Mark Dery, Philippe Quéau, Hervé Fischer, Hugo de Garis, Joel de Rosnay, Cripsin Sartwell, Steve Jones and others And has presented Netart artwork by Melinda Rackham, Catherine Ikam, Oliver Hockenhull, Diana Domingues, Christina McPhee, Joseph Netchvatal, David Johnston and others.