Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Dreaming technologies

Why does my dissertation focus on mobile technologies still in development?

In Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance, Jon McKenzie draws on Bruno Latour's Aramis, or the Love of Technology and writes:

The social dimension of technological performance is not external to some realm of pure technology. While one can compose readings that focus on the technical history of a particular device or system, this can only be done by disconnecting the technology from the social forces that help to produce it. Before any production, before there is a high performance missile, or computer, or transit system, there are only projects, and projected technologies are more social than technological, more fantastic than objective.

I'm more interested in how technologies come to be, than in what technologies are. The primary benefit of this sort of approach is the ability to identify precise moments and locations in which we may possibly intervene and alter the course of events, thereby reasserting the role of social and cultural agency and the potential for critiques of everyday life - in the development and use of ubiquitous computing.


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