31.08.2020 13:03

Can there be a convivial cyborg? - Workshop at "Zukunft für Alle" (Future for All) conference

The workshop - co-hosted by Phillip Lücking - took place on August 27, 2020.

Can there be a convivial cyborg?

Phillip Lücking co-hosted a workshop revolving around this question in context of the "Zukunft für Alle" (Future for All) conference held by the Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie. The workshop was a collaborative effort between the CET (Center for Emancipatory Technology) and the Konzeptwerk. After a short introduction of the topic by the facilitators, participants discussed about the emancipatory potential of technology and ecological limits of the cyborg figure as defined by Donna Haraway in her 1985 "Cyborg Manifesto" between personal autonomy and societal reproduction in the face of climate crisis. While some participants argued in favor of a participatory design approach to realize democratic technologies, others argued that one fundamental problem lies with the ownership structure of contemporary digital technology. Efforts towards "designing better" would, according to this analysis, always be geared towards increasing market shares and furthering an anti-emancipatory and fundamentally anti-democratic technology. It was widely agreed that a communization of relevant technologies from below could be an important first step in order to think about transforming technology towards socio-ecological conviviality. While it was argued that contemporary technologies are deeply embedded in the extractive and distructive logic of capitalism, a careful re-coding might be possible for some technologies. Whether this means to "degrowth" everyones internet bandswith stands to question. The concept of building alliances was highlighted when talking about an emancipatory cyborgization focussed on building connections and embracing inter-dependence. This stands in contrast with the idea of transhumanists, who are under suspicion to further cyborgization in favor of evermore independence-focussed individualization, furthering the current trajectory of (neoliberal) capitalism.