María Puig de la Bellacasa: Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds (2017)

24 July 2019, dusan

“To care can feel good, or it can feel bad. It can do good, it can oppress. But what is care? A moral obligation? A burden? A joy? Is it only human? In Matters of Care, María Puig de la Bellacasa presents a powerful challenge to conventional notions of care, exploring its significance as an ethical and political obligation for thinking in the more than human worlds of technoscience and naturecultures.

Matters of Care contests the view that care is something only humans do, and argues for extending to non-humans the consideration of agencies and communities that make the living web of care by considering how care circulates in the natural world. The first of the book’s two parts, “Knowledge Politics,” defines the motivations for expanding the ethico-political meanings of care, focusing on discussions in science and technology that engage with sociotechnical assemblages and objects as lively, politically charged “things.” The second part, “Speculative Ethics in Antiecological Times,” considers everyday ecologies of sustaining and perpetuating life for their potential to transform our entrenched relations to natural worlds as “resources.”

From the ethics and politics of care to experiential research on care to feminist science and technology studies, Matters of Care is a singular contribution to an emerging interdisciplinary debate that expands agency beyond the human to ask how our understandings of care must shift if we broaden the world.”

Publisher University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 2017
Posthumanities series, 41
ISBN 9781517900656, 1517900654
265 pages

Reviews: Miriam Ticktin & Katinka Wijsman (Hypatia, 2017), Sonja Jerak-Zuiderent (Science & Technology Studies, 2017), James McMaster (Women & Performance, 2017), Kelly Dombroski (Journal of Cultural Economy, 2018), Stephen Healy (Journal of Cultural Economy, 2018), Elizabeth Reddy (Journal of Cultural Economy, 2018), Gerda Roelvink (Journal of Cultural Economy, 2018), Maria Puig de la Bellacasa (response, Journal of Cultural Economy, 2018), Katie Ulrich (Cultures of Energy, 2018), Garrett Bunyak (Configurations, 2018), Sarah Weiger (ISLE, 2019), Farhan Samanani (Society+Space, 2019), Richard Brons (Ethics of Care, 2019).
Interview with author (Cultures of Energy, 2018, 70 min)



D. Fox Harrell: Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression (2013)

13 May 2018, dusan

“An argument that great expressive power of computational media arises from the construction of phantasms—blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination.

In Phantasmal Media, D. Fox Harrell considers the expressive power of computational media. He argues, forcefully and persuasively, that the great expressive potential of computational media comes from the ability to construct and reveal phantasms—blends of cultural ideas and sensory imagination. These ubiquitous and often-unseen phantasms—cognitive phenomena that include sense of self, metaphors, social categories, narrative, and poetic thinking—influence almost all our everyday experiences. Harrell offers an approach for understanding and designing computational systems that have the power to evoke these phantasms, paying special attention to the exposure of oppressive phantasms and the creation of empowering ones. He argues for the importance of cultural content, diverse worldviews, and social values in computing. The expressive power of phantasms is not purely aesthetic, he contends; phantasmal media can express and construct the types of meaning central to the human condition.

Harrell discusses, among other topics, the phantasm as an orienting perspective for developers; expressive epistemologies, or data structures based on subjective human worldviews; morphic semiotics (building on the computer scientist Joseph Goguen’s theory of algebraic semiotics); cultural phantasms that influence consensus and reveal other perspectives; computing systems based on cultural models; interaction and expression; and the ways that real-world information is mapped onto, and instantiated by, computational data structures.

The concept of phantasmal media, Harrell argues, offers new possibilities for using the computer to understand and improve the human condition through the human capacity to imagine.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2013
ISBN 9780262019330, 0262019337
xix+420 pages

Reviews: John Harwood (Artforum, 2014), Brian Reffin Smith (Leonardo, 2015).



Continent. 5(2): The Technosphere, Now (2016)

15 April 2016, dusan

“The “technosphere” is geologist Peter Haff’s term for the planetary-scale networks of transport, information, energy and media operating at a scale and functional efficacy that we can now compare with geological and climatic forces—the soils and rocks of the lithosphere, the waters of the hydrosphere or the winds of the atmosphere. Its emergence as a thematic is driven by the same witnessing of intertwining natural environments, vast socio-technical forces, and increasingly diverse technological species and spaces that has precipitated discussions of the Anthropocene.

[…] The Technosphere project at the HKW in Berlin (2015-18) began with an initial gathering in Autumn 2015. The first occasion for the ongoing collaboration between continent. and HKW was the latter’s hosting of The Technosphere, Now event in October, 2015 in Berlin. Editors from continent. came from various corners of the globe, invited to immerse themselves into and extrapolate from the talks, discussions, presentations and demonstrations held there. Interview-discussions held with the likewise international set of researchers, theorists, artists and scientists at this event precipitated an online special issue of continent. for April 2016, featuring articles titled by the names of our interviewees.”

Features interviews with Arno Rosemarin, Birgit Schneider, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Donald MacKenzie, Erich Hörl, Jennifer Gabrys, Lino Camprubí, Lucy A. Suchman, Mark Hansen, Masahiro Terada, Mushon Zer-Aviv, Oliver Sann, Peter K. Haff, S. Løchlann Jain, and Scott Gabriel Knowles.

Edited by Nina Jäger, Paul Boshears, Bernhard Garnicnig, Jamie Allen, Lital Khaikin, Katrin Klingan, Anna Sophie Luhn, Christoph Rosol, and Nick Hood
Publisher continent., Apr 2016
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
ISSN 2159-9920