INTERDEPENDENCIES: FROM LOCAL MICROSTORIES TO GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES ON THE HISTORY OF TECHNOLOGY
The ICOHTEC 50th Symposium
14-18 August 2023
The concept of top-down transfer of technology has been challenged by Arnold Pacey and Francesca Bray (1990). Instead, they proposed the concept of ‘technological dialogue’ to bring attention to the process of modification of technologies in local contexts. We would like to go a step further and suggest the term ‘interdependencies’ to describe the reciprocal character of relations in which technology plays an important role. Despite the neoliberal myth of independence, interdependence is being reclaimed as a desired type of relationship that allows people, communities, and non-human agents to build networks to which they contribute and from which they benefit. Recently, designer, researcher, and disability justice activist Aimi Hamraie described ‘interdependence as a political technology’ and ‘a tool for facilitating connection and building new material arrangements.’ Hamraie additionally stresses the relational and ethical dimension of interdependence, as well as the fact that interdependence replaces the loci of agency and expertise.