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Title: The Primitive, Technology and Horror: A Posthuman Biology
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Keywords: History and philosophy of science and technology
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: University of London
Citation: Campbell, Norah, Michael Saren and Aidan O'Driscoll, The Primitive, Technology and Horror: A Posthuman Biology, ephemera: theory and politics in organization, 10, 1, 2010, 152-176
Series/Report no.: ephemera: theory and politics in organization;
Abstract: Recent works have explored the concept of posthumanism as a radical decentring of the human, humanism and the humanities in the wake of the complexificaiton of technology and systems, and new insight into nonhuman life (Pettman, 2011; Wolfe, 2009). In this article, we argue that posthumanism is not just an epistemology (Wolfe, 2009), but an aesthetic that blends three elements – the primitive, technology and horror. The interrelation of these three elements produces an aesthetic sensibility, that says three things about non-humanist conceptions of life. First, we draw attention to metamorphosis as an engine that encourages the viewer to recognise life not as being, but as perpetual becoming. However, as an antidote to the liberatory promises of ‘flow’, we specifically argue for a distinction between morphing and mutating, showing how each articulates opposing fantasies of posthumanism. Second, the concept of primal technology is introduced, which injects the humanist understanding of technology with an alternative, subterranean and posthuman supplement. Third, proto-atavism introduces the concept that multiple paradigms of life exist on the peripheries of humanist life. Ancient and future evolutionary traits exist in the present – both in the aesthetic imagination and in everyday life. Ultimately, we work towards a more wide-ranging idea – a posthuman biology – an ethical imperative which reminds us that, in a technological age, life is no longer containable in ‘simple’ life.
Description: PUBLISHED
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Appears in Collections:Business Studies (Scholarly Publications)

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