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Anthropotechnics

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Nina Jäger 2016

Anthropotechnics for the Anthropocene

What if we understand the technoscientific world we live in as a result of certain cultivations of the self? How might we turn this understanding into new trainings and techniques of thought, of feeling, intuiting, and acting? Historian John Tresch looks at the history of modern science from the angle of spiritual athleticism, ascetic practices and epistemic virtues, examining the possibility of grappling with the existential conditions of the technosphere in ways that might be considered “wise.”

by John Tresch
909 seconds read

Contra Diction. Speech Against Itself

What techniques do we use when we navigate between the human voice, governmental law and the concept of justice in the technosphere? In a live audio essay, artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan explores the concept of taqiyya – a term from Islamic jurisprudence that allows a believing individual to deny their faith or commit otherwise illegal acts while they are at risk of persecution or in a condition of statelessness.

by Lawrence Abu Hamdan
21 seconds read

Dancing (the) Technosphere

In this video, Tokyo University researchers demonstrate the explicit interfaces between the human somatic niche and the technosphere by gently intriguing the viewer to broach the uncanny valley and reflect on the how anthropotechnics are not only anthropos using technics, but also technics using anthropos, exploring what consequences this could have on the entrainment of both human and non-human bodies.

by Technosphere Editorial
169 seconds read

Larp as Technology

What does it mean to share or feel another's embodied experience? Experience designer Lizzie Stark explores this idea through an anthropotechnic of “live action role-play” (larp) – a gaming format that allows one to improvise different roles in various scenarios as a means to better understand the situation of others and themselves.

by Lizzie Stark
553 seconds read

On Anthropotechnics and Physical Practice

How does the human body fit into technospheric conceptualizations of performance, efficiency, and optimization? In a video interview with personal trainer Nik Kosmas, we discuss various body culture practices as forms of anthropotechnics that entrain bodies in relation to performance, lifestyle, and the cultural artifacts that alter it.

by Nik Kosmas
12 seconds read

Potency and Partial Knowledge. An Exercise

While the vast macro and micro scales of the technosphere can be difficult to grapple with, so too is the complexity of its many interactions. The artists Andrew Yang and Jeremy Bolen propose a modest attunement exercise to counter this inaccessibility, an alternative to the abstractions of magnitude and scale through which the Anthropocene is so often perceived, by a sensitization of the partial and embodied.

by Andrew Yang, Jeremy Bolen
225 seconds read
Researching the technosphere requires us to consider the modern machinery of knowledge through which it works and to which it is applied, and to look closer at the technical expertise which it has shaped—that is, the vocational assemblies, the energy and data infrastructures, the real-time sensors and instruments, and the publication streams and algorithms that generate, disseminate, and administer knowledge today. But it also requires us to think about the ways in which the very concept of knowledge, modern science, and our modes of thinking are coupled with the human bodily and sensory apparatus. More precisely, it encourages us to think about the ways in which humans are trained, formed, and reformed in their bodies and minds so as to make them capable of adjusting to, and fitting in with the net of earthly, material, technical, and cognitive matters. Physically ingrained practices and routines are a subtle yet decisive precondition for perceiving, coherently grasping, and adequately responding to the more-than-human dynamics of a global environment in transition. Understanding, reshaping, and modifying these regimes of epistemic authorities, sense training, ascetic modes of inquiry, and techniques of mental cultivation is required in light of the technospheric age. It might even lay the foundations for a new kind of research that gives form to, rather than ignores, the interdependence between the technosphere and current modes of knowledge production.