Saturday, October 29, 2005

Stiegler, mnemotechnical systems & mobility

Infomobility and Technics: some travel notes by Belinda Barnet

"For French philosopher Bernard Stiegler, one of the most important developments in recent times is the convergence between the industrial technical system, globalisation, and mnemotechnical systems like writing and photography, to form a global mnemotechnical system. This system incorporates digital information networks like the internet as well as the real-time information events of individuals. The human of the information age is dependent on this global digital retention system; they invent themselves within it. More recently, with the development of geosynchronous satellite applications like GPS, there has been an 'interweaving' of this global system with real space; the human experience of countries and regions is shaped in advance by its representations. The global mnemotechnical system reterritorialises real space...

In the first vignette, I argue that this interweaving of the global mnemotechnical system and real space reaches its zenith with mobile devices; particularly through the use of wireless information services combined with location-based services that tailor data to geographical locations. The individual's current location becomes a plane of technological inscription for this global mnemotechnical system, and the individual human becomes a series of location zones, an evolving piece of data whose information events are fed back into this digital retention system...In the second vignette I argue that this global digital retention system also bears witness to an event having taking place; until an event has been captured, shared and distributed across the network via mobile phone, it has not taken place. When human beings are separated from the devices that grant them access to the global mnemotechnical system, from both the archive of their own lives and the collective record, they experience anxiety. Our relationship with mobile devices constitutes a tension, a tension I explore in the final vignette."


Stiegler's The global mnemotechnical system

Stiegler's Technics and Time 1

The Ister, a film in which Bernard Stiegler, Jean-Luc Nancy and others discuss Heidegger's thought. See this excerpt of The Ister for a partial transcription of Stiegler's discussion.


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