Aesthetic Mediation and the Politics of Technology: New Strategies for a Critical Social Theory

Critical Horizons 15 (1):69-81 (2014)

Authors
Abstract
There is a rich history in early critical theory of attempting to harness the power of aesthetic imagination for the purposes of political liberation. But this approach has largely faded to the background of contemporary critical theory, eclipsed lately by attempts to reconstruct and apply norms of rationality to processes of democratic will formation à la Habermas. This paper represents a small attempt to return the aesthetic element to its proper place within critical theory, by investigating the aesthetic aspects of certain forms of resistance to technological domination, forms of resistance that become “embodied” in technologies themselves. The phenomena of customization and personalization of technologies, although already co-opted in a variety of ways, are examples of such resistance. I begin then, by specifying the conventional method of understanding technological domination: the differentiation thesis. I then show how this understanding of technological development fails to grasp the reality of technologies as they are embodied in social contexts. A more accurate understanding of these contexts demonstrates that aesthetic imagination plays an important role in politicizing technologies, and enrolling these technologies themselves in the project of resisting the general phenomenon of technological domination. This helps us begin to understand what it might mean to translate the insights of early critical theory into a contemporary critical praxis.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1179/1440991713z.00000000021
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,425
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

One-Dimensional Man.Renford Bambrough - 1964 - Philosophy 69 (269):380-381.
Aesthetic Theory.Henry L. Shapiro - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (2):288.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Technological Construction of Social Power.Philip Brey - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (1):71 – 95.
Power Trouble: Performativity as Critical Theory.Amy Allen - 1998 - Constellations 5 (4):456-471.
Critical Theory of Technology.Andrew Feenberg - 1991 - Oxford University Press.
Foucault and the Politics of Our Selves.Amy Allen - 2011 - History of the Human Sciences 24 (4):43-59.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-06-30

Total views
4 ( #1,143,348 of 2,286,366 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #853,841 of 2,286,366 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature