We humans have become soft machines in the way we extend our bodies and abilities into technological devices. I have a hard time remembering phone numbers since getting a cell phone; it remembers them for me. Likewise, much of my academic work is externalized through blogging it. This external, (im)material form of my thought is my blog, which is not part of me. My mind is no longer confined to my body, my though process becomes virtual, so is it still me? Gray Kochar-Lindgren writes in TechnoLogics that we, as free ideal beings, are not captured against our will to be machine-assemblages but that today daily life consists of being cyborg. But there is more to this situation than the discussion of a cyborg existence. More important is the fact that the design of technology determines to a large extent how we as humans can use it. As David Porush argues in his book The Soft Machine, technology designates instructions for the production of the signified. In other words, we need to pay close attention to how technology is designed because with it comes also a mode of perception, a way of making sense of the world. We can paraphrase Andrew Feenberg, and say that the design of technology is a site of struggle. My paper proposes to examine this site of struggle by looking at the explosion of mobile devices such as cell phones and iPods which distinctly break down traditional notions of space as divided between public and private. The design of these devices is geared to make them ubiquitous and even constitutive of personal identity.
Cyborg; iPod; Mobil telefon; Socialt rum; Posthuman; Kommunikation; Cell phone; Social space; Communication
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Nordisk Sommeruniversitet: The Word becoming Flesh, 2008