Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Good news!

It's official!  The article I've been working on, "Posthuman Topologies: Thinking Through the Hoard" will be published in Lexington Books' upcoming anthology Radical Interface: Transdisciplinary Interventions on Design, Mediation, and the Posthuman!

Here's an abstract of the the chapter:
No matter how deeply we push into posthuman explanations of technology as an underlying epistemology or ontology, “interface” remains a fundamental difficulty.  It represents a seemingly insurmountable topological space which exists between the human and the technological artifact which the human manipulates.  Posthumanism’s tendency to subsume the technological into the self as an epistemological or ontological modality reveals its vestigial humanist conceits:  (I know) through technology; or (I am) technologically.  To fully emerge from the humanist shadow, we must rethink “the human” as a function which occurs across substrates, non-anthropocentrically distributing cognition/selfhood/being through our topological environments.  Being, thinking, etc. are as contingent upon the spaces we occupy as they are upon the biological wetware of the brain.  This radical re-imagining of being requires us to start with a posthuman perspective and move on, rather than characterize the posthuman as the destination. 
To achieve this, we must -- perhaps counterintuitively -- re-emphasize technology as an artifact on equal discursive footing with the ontological self or “mind.”  When we start a posthumanist analysis of interface with the “object” or “artifact” rather than the human using it, we can more readily achieve a discourse of the “distributed self,” which takes the shape of the environment it occupies; a self which morphs across a spatio-temporal continuum and is as affected by phenomena traditionally considered “outside” of it as it is by the biological processes which sustain it.  In such a scenario, “interface” is rendered moot, and becomes a signifier for arbitrary and shifting designations of that which is and isn’t the self.  
I'm really excited about this one!  The collection is under contract right now and I'll post more details as to a publishing date and availability as soon as I know them.