Feminist Technoscience / Week 3 / 20-10-2020

Feminist technoscience is a philosophy that tries to articulate a perspective and refiguring of central concepts like nature, body and identity.

The notion of machine configuration:
“Figuring the Human in AI and Robotics”
“Demystification and Re-enchantments of the humanlike machine”

How can these mean to humankind? In terms of cognition, sense, etc? How should we think the distinction human-machine? We can remove this binary and approach it with a different bias.

“information has lost its body” -Katherine Hayles “The points is, feminist are not, are we seeking a universal, totalising intelligence, or a plurality of local contingent abilities to interact?”
Suchman, 6

The figuration of human knowledge inherited from modernity is “western, white and male”.
Haraway, “Situated Knowledges” (1988)“No robots were harmed in the making of this video”
(this raises in a humorous way the question of aliveness in machines)

The universality of western knowledge has created a ‘conqueror’, a kind of colonialism. The centre is the individual, and is cut out from its natural environment. We are now thinking of knowledge as a visible object to be studied. If you take a supernova, which takes light years to be visible from the earth, you may question the notion of visibility and reality. The techniques of observation shape our reality. We enforce the boundaries of observation.

-Transgression in the boundary between human and animal
-Affirmation of connection between human & other living creatures
-Ambiguity in distinctions among animal-human-machine
-Uncertainty of what one accepts as ‘nature’
-Boundary between physical and non-physical is imprecise
-Machines and micro-electric devices are everywhere and invisible

-  Haraway argues for situated, localized knowledge – not universality – that provides the conditions for responsible knowledge claims.
-  Represents the interdependence of people
-  Machines are aspects of our embodiment – as such Haraway emphasizes the need for responsible relations with machines
-  The cyborg represents a way out of the labyrinth of western, patriarchal views of dualism.

Ruha Benjamin, Karen Barad, Rosi Braidottii, Elizabeth Povinelli, Donna Haraway, Myra J. Hird, Vicky Kirby, Lucy Suchman, Elizabeth A. Wilson and Isabelle Stengers.

1.    Feminist science is a field under construction
2.    Application of feminist analysis to scientific
3.    Exploration of the intersections between race, class, gender, and science and technology
4.    Knowledges are seen as a social activity embedded in a certain culture and world-view.
5.    Gender politics are a way to understand body agencies

*Contingent = which could be different while the overall picture doesn’t change.