Thursday, October 22, 2009

It seems logical to connect Massive Change on Living Economies to Randall Honold's presentation on cyborgs. They both share many similarities regarding the relationship of the technology and the environment, and the degree to which technology is environmental and the environment is technological. In regards to our discussion in the Q & A portion of the presentation, I think it's helpful to pull one quote from the 'Eugene Thacker on biomedia' portion of the reading and offer it as some help for people who understandably take issue with the whole cyborg framework thing-

"Is the body itself a biotechnology?"
"Yeah, sure. I would say that it is, but with the caveat that it has to be articulated as a technology. I wouldn't say that this view is so all-encompassing that the body's mere existence means that it's a machine or a technology."

I think that the nonchalant, who-cares attitude that Thacker has in response to the question should be helpful for people who think that the Honold's presentation would just create some sort of cumbersome discussion about how to define or imagine the relationship between design and the environment rather than just solving existing problems.

In addition to this, I think that Honold's presentation has some points that diverge from the Massive Change reading. This particularly is evident in Honold's proposition that we embrace irony and paradox. Mau doesn't seem to do this- case in point the featherless chicken example (something that Ozimek pointed out in his presentation). The subhead next to the picture of the chicken is 'unnaturally cool.' I don't see anything 'cool' about this image or idea- I might be more open to this idea if I were allowed to laugh at it or view it ironically. Even then, as much as I appreciate irony, we can't go so far as to be ironically degrading, as Ozimek pointed out.

Mau seems to think that alot of these living economies are simply rational, progressive solutions without taking into consideration some of the human reactions to modifying the natural world. This is seen in the reaction against genetically modifying food that seems to be more popular right now. Instead of genetically engineering vitamin A enriched rice and importing it to third world countries, why can't we allow 'developing countries' (as they say) to become economically sustainable by putting limits on our own expansion?

I think that pairing some irony and paradox with rational problem solving could be a good idea.

No comments:

Post a Comment