Technological Mediation and Power: Postphenomenology, Critical Theory, and Autonomist Marxism

This article focuses on the power of technological mediation from the point of view of autonomist Marxism (Hardt, Negri, Virno, Berardi, Lazzarrato). The first  part of the article discusses the theories developed on technological mediation in postphenomenology (Ihde, Verbeek) and critical theory of technology (Feenberg) withregard to their respective power perspectives and ways of coping with relations of  power embedded in technical artifacts and systems. Rather than focusing on the clashes between the hermeneutic postphenomenological approach and the dialectics of criticaltheory, it is argued that in both the category of resistance amidst power-relations is at least similar in one regard: resistance to the power of technology is conceptualized as areactive force. The second part of the article reads technological mediation through theMithun Bantwal Rao, Joost Jongerden, Pieter Lemmens and Guido Ruivenkamp published an article in which they sketched the contours of an autonomist-Marxist philosophy of technology (Hardt, Negri, Virno, Berardi, Lazzarrato). The article is part of a NWO sponsored research project on open source and commons. The first part of the article discusses the theories developed on technological mediation in postphenomenology (Ihde, Verbeek) and critical theory of technology (Feenberg) with regard to their respective power perspectives and ways of coping with relations of power embedded in technical artifacts and systems. The second part of the article reads technological mediation through the lens of the antagonistic power-perspective on class struggle developed in autonomist Marxism. It is argued that antagonistic resistance should be understood as a (technically mediated) practice of challenging, displacing, and thwarting capitalist relation of production and subjectification by a subversion of the circuit of production itself. In so doing, we sketched the contours of an autonomist philosophy of technology. Technologically mediated practices such as open source and commons-based production are reshuffling such concepts as designer/user, or public/private, and they are definitely changing the very face of capitalism.

The article is published open access: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13347-015-0190-2/fulltext.html

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