CANCELLED: Book launch reception: The Oxford Handbook of Media, Technology and Organization Studies
Humans have always been accompanying technology. Since their mythical inception under the faltering protection of the Prometheus, tools – useful objects found ready to hand - have been what marks the human. They extend our reach into the world, vastly increasing the controlling range of human touch, and in turn tools are extended as they reach into us, our organs becoming prostheses for technology. Accepting this intimacy has consequences for our understanding of organization. Studies of social organization (which implies, still, a human primacy) give way to encounters with the technical means of organizing the (techno-)social: techniques of reason have become procedures of technical ordering, and of late these have become machinic and coded. Not that we should obsesses over electrical computing - the virtual is carried along by an immense materiality: server farms, biometric rhythms, dense pockets of human labour mining for rare metals or running blockchains, bulk shipping containers moving machine parts, ….
Technology is the means by which the world and our understanding of the world come together. It mediates subjects and objects, it structures how we humans sense, perceive, think and act, it is epistemologically active. Thinking of, and inquiring into, technical media in this way means avoiding considering technology as a set of discrete things, and instead as a media-technological a priori of organizing: to think of objects is to think organization. To think of objects is to think of identity, of obsolescence, updates and reboots, of circulations and replication, of manners and civility, and of taking forms whose fruition, being mediated, is never complete.
The Handbook is itself a material participation in such endless organization. The chapters - each labelled and indexed with the name of an object (colour chart, dating app, acoustic tile, suit, filter, high heel, business card … ) are themselves objects taking meaningful form in their indexed, searchable and cited presence. In being organized they are not just being read and presented, they are being processed, and the editors and authors along with them.
Come along and be part of Der Prozess.
Reception starting from 17:00
Kilevej 14 A/B