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Umwelt and individuation: Digital signals and technical being
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7353-4172
2018 (English)In: Digital Existence / [ed] Amanda Lagerkvist, Routledge, 2018, p. 61-80Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

By fusing Gilbert Simondon’s theory of technological being with Jakob von Uexküll’s biosemiotic concept of Umwelt, a more integrative, dynamic, vitalistic theory of media technology is sought in order to facilitate a scathing critique of the speculative, idealistic hyperbole around data and information that we see today. Simondon’s relational, evolutionary ontology is radically different from standard linear models of digital information, allowing us to understand embedded technological agency and the conceptual gap between that which is captured by surveillant data infrastructures and that which is lived phenomenological existence, without resorting to deterministic and philosophically untenable concepts. Likewise, as digital media platforms increasingly rely on algorithmically customized (i.e., personalized) modes of media dissemination, Umwelt theory offers a way to theorize these highly artificial “user experiences” fed back to users by the digital platform providers. Ultimately, by affirming technology as a symbiotic process, the chapter points towards a utopian potential for human co-habitation with digital infrastructure. This contrasts with much of the current, actual technocratic governance familiar to us (apps, platforms, interfaces), where the user is offered, at best, modes of co-creativity that are constrained and highly conditional and, at worst, only mere illusions of participation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2018. p. 61-80
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-47867DOI: 10.4324/9781315107479-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-47867DiVA, id: diva2:1621047
Available from: 2021-12-17 Created: 2021-12-17 Last updated: 2021-12-17Bibliographically approved

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Andersson Schwarz, Jonas

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-harvard.csl
  • sodertorns-hogskola-oxford.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf