Intimate Technology S01E06: Also, the Dichotomy of Pragmatism and Perversion

NextNature.net
November 14th 2017

Not only our technology itself, but also the way we interact with it varies and evolves over time. Do we treat our technologies with more care and sentimentality these days than we did in the past? In her short film Also, the Dichotomy of Pragmatism and Perversion, Tiziana Kruger examines the question through an unusually old-fashioned object: a simple rug.

Usually, when we discuss our (over)attachment to technology, we think of ultramodern tech. We say that we consider our smartphones as something similar to pets or companions, than mere tools. Or that virtual reality may have the potential to replace our real-world connections. And so on. But perhaps we are forgetting that, in a way, it was always like this. The farmer at the dawn of agriculture could have had a favourite scythe. The medieval knight certainly had a great attachment to his shield and armor. We have for a long time taken pride in the tidiness and tasteful décor of our homes.

To remind us of this, Kruger flips the script. Her video shows a simple yet unusual scene: a hand holding a comb, carefully combing the fringe of a rug. The tender act of care becomes something strange to watch when applied to a technology we usually pay little attention to. We think rugs are made to stay under our feet, they are not objects of affection. Yet the movie reminds us that technology is a very broad category. When we talk about intimate technology, we are not necessarily talking about something new, but something very old indeed.

Do you think that technological advancement has deepened our attachment to what used to be simple tools? Or is this just part of a very old phenomena? And as the title asks, is an attachment to objects above people necessarily “perverse”?

Credit: Also, the Dichotomy of Pragmatism and Perversion by Tiziana Kruger (DE)

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What is your view on the coronavirus?


Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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