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Introduction to Technology and Cultural Form: A Liquid Reader

Page history last edited by Joanna Zylinska 10 years, 1 month ago

About this book


This is a ‘liquid book’ which presents a series of texts that interrogate the notion of ‘technology’ as a specific cultural form. Originally devised as a reader for a course on the MA Digital Media at Goldsmiths, University of London, titled 'Technology and Cultural Form: Debates, Models, Dialogues', by the course tutor Dr Joanna Zylinska in collaboration with her students, it is being made available to the international academic community on the open access, open content and open editing basis.


The reader is divided into three parts. The first part focuses on questions of power, politics and networks. In the context of the relation between technology and power, it looks at issues of surveillance, control and globalisation. The second part explores questions of human and non-human becoming with, or by means of, technology. It looks at Foucault’s notion of technologies of the self and at the more recent work on posthumanism and bioethics. The third part of the reader highlights a more creative engagement with technology. They key opposition that is being tested and contested there is that between ‘media theory’ and ‘media practice’.


About ‘technology’


Both experiential and theoretical developments in the areas of new technologies and new media are calling on us to radically rethink the mainstream understanding of technology as just a tool that can be applied to discrete entities. It seems more productive to envisage instead a mutual co-constitution between the entity that gets designated as ‘the human’ and its technology. In other words, if we think technology beyond its Aristotelian concept of a mere tool, and see it instead as an environment, or a field of dynamic forces, we will arguably have a more interesting and more critical framework for understanding both ourselves and the world of which we are part. This repositioning will also allow us to analyse the political vector of many of these forces, their cultural signification and their material consequences.

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