Intimate Technology S01E06: Also, the Dichotomy of Pragmatism and Perversion
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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Should men be able to give birth to children?

Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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