TCRG x AIME 3: “Making the Beings of Technology Visible”

by lukevanryn

travel_hammock_plusWe enter our third week of reading Bruno Latour’s An Inquiry into Modes of Existence with the eighth chapter from his new book: “Making the Beings of Technology Visible”. In this chapter, Latour develops the mode of being peculiar to technology. In doing so, he also argues that technological beings must be dealt with in a mode that departs from reproduction (discussed last week):

“by assimilating the beings of technology with the beings of reproduction, we would be making a diagnostic error as surely if we confused them with networks” (215).

Latour develops this argument in dialogue with the work of the philosopher of technology Gilbert Simondon, who Latour names (alongside √Čtienne Souriau) as one of the precursors to the notion of “modes of existence”. We can anticipate getting to grips with technological beings by following Latour in the pursuit of their “dazzling zigzags[s]” – from the most common to the rarest of experience, in response to Simondon and beyond.

The chapter is available here [PDF]. For those interested, he introduction and Chapter One of Simondon’s On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects is available here [PDF].
We meet at 5pm on Tuesday October 8th in the Pierre Gorman Room, 1888 Building, University of Melbourne. All welcome.