“Technology and Difference: Editorial.” Leonardo Electronic Almanac 11-10 (Fall 2003) Edited Special Issue.

This issue has come about as a result of my ongoing interest and work in the area of technology and sexual / cultural differences. While considering this particular focus of interest, I realized that the general question of the fundamental relationship between technology and difference has been rarely considered in the field of new media art, cyberculture, science, technology and society studies, and other convergent areas where ‘modern technologies’ are critically engaged. As such, this issue comes from a conviction that any specific study of difference in relation to technology has to be seen within a larger framework that is sensitive to the historic relationship between these two concepts. Moreover, there is an urgent need to systematically and critically think through "Technology and Difference" together, as a couple.

Whether one frames it as Technology and Difference, or (though not the same, surely), Difference and Technology, it remains a complex albeit understudied, connection. While both parts of this expression have been explored in Western literature - philosophical, anthropological, historic, literary, cybernetic, biological, and so on, - they have rarely been explored together, with a few notable exceptions. Leaving the question of ‘why’ to the historians of ideas, the editorial will address two main questions: first, what, fundamentally, the concepts of technology and difference reveal, and what role they have played in Western thought and beyond; and second, what is the relation of art to our understanding of technology and difference. Any analysis that we undertake here would be necessarily limited, not only by the lack of space, but also by (desirable) acknowledgment of the specificity of the language in which it is written and thought through, with all its obvious or unintended consequences. One should also see the following points exactly as questions, openings for a future discussion, rather than theses, or theoretical imperatives of the topic at hand.

File Size: 510K
[download PDF »]

[back to top ˆ]