From From Writing to Imaging: Technology, Agency, and the Reconfiguration of Social Experience

Dr. Evan Selinger,
Dr Timothy H. Engstrom
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This paper analyzes the implications of the techno-imaging turn on our understanding of cognition itself, on subsequent constructions of the self or "human nature" more generally, and their potential to reconfigure social experience. We will investigate not only the role played by underlying computational representations of cognition and identity, however; we will also investigate the ways in which computational descriptions/translations/reductions — of cognition, identity, and future human possibility — belie a largely unstated economic and ideological context that drives the imaging technologies and practices that are dominant in the foreseeable future.

In detailing the claims made for the techno-imaging turn, we will further develop a critical philosophical account of imaging technology. In so doing, we explore not only recent "human nature" debates — reflections on Homo Faber; we also focus specifically on questions of agency: How are conceptions of agency altered as identity and technology are merged in unprecedented ways, as technologies are made into increasingly transparent "wearable computer appliances," as the contexts of application are prescribed increasingly by prevailing consumer and commodity cultures, as the operational codes that permit "personal choice" are increasingly the preserve of proprietary programmers and not individual users? We will attempt to theorize a conception of agency that connects recent technological speculation with a critical conception of the social contexts in which visually mediated competencies, bodies, and communities are being promoted.

Keywords: Social and Political Theory, Philosophy of Technology, Imaging, Agency, Cyborg
Stream: Human Technologies and Useability, Technology in Community, Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr. Evan Selinger

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Dept. Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology

Dr Timothy H. Engstrom

Professor Dept. Philosophy, Dept. Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology

Ref: T05P0113