Techno-bio-politics. On Interfacing Life with and Through Technology

NanoEthics 16 (1):133-150 (2022)

Abstract

Technology takes an unprecedented position in contemporary society. In particular, it has become part and parcel of governmental attempts to manufacture life in new ways. Such ideas concerning the governance of life organize around the same contention: that technology and life are, in fact, highly interconnectable. This is surprising because if one enters the sites of techno-scientific experimentation, those visions turn out to be much frailer and by no means “in place” yet. Rather, they afford or enforce constant interfacing work, a particular mode of manufacturing life, rendering disparate, sturdy, and often surprisingly incompatible things available for one another. Here, we contend that both of those aspects, pervasive rationalities of interconnectability and practices of interfacing mark the cornerstones of what we call a new techno-bio-politics of life. In order to grasp the government of life under the technological condition, we must understand how both human and non-human entities are being rendered interconnectable and re-worked through practices of interfacing. We take neuro-technology and care robotics as two illustrative cases. Our analysis shows that the contemporary government of life is not primarily concerned with life itself in its biological re-constitution but rather with life as it is interfaced with and through technology.

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