Philosophy of Technique & Technology

Introductions to book volumes and special issues


Written by Benoît Dillet & Anaïs Nony

Noology is the technical life of ideology. It works at the formal and technical production of knowledge, rather than focusing on the content displayed by a specific system of thought. There are two reasons why the notion of noology must play a role in today’s critical and political debates. First, the concept of ideology has lost its relevance since its everyday meaning is far removed from the original meaning Karl Marx gave it; today ideology mainly means “political doctrine,” right-wing, left-wing, or the entire spectrum of shades between the two.

 Expressions such as “an ideology” or “ideologies” are used in critical analysis, while for Marx “ideology” has always come without any pronoun. Ideology now presents itself as an “inversion of causalities producing illusions.”1 The second reason has to do with the changes in the modes of production since the 1970s, and the rise of the post-Fordist economy, or “neoliberalism.” Since the 1970s, the end of ideologies has been proclaimed (epitomised by Daniel Bell). Given this context, noology critique demonstrates that the work of ideology in today’s economy plays out at an infrastructural level, in social organs that materially institutionalise thought and ideas, and not simply at the level of the immaterial culture of political parties and discourses (superstructure).

Written by Anaïs Nony

In today’s digital societies, it can be difficult to grasp the political stakes of the technical. While the technical pushes us to face the past while backing up into the future, the digital is rushing up on us from behind, reminding us that we are late in our own present. This feeling of losing control of one’s time is caused by the data-driven quality of digital devices that constantly implement new parameters into future actions.

A nootechnics of the digital takes the temporal gap created by the drastic acceleration of technological advancement seriously. It addresses the cultural delay that prevents us from developing meaningful relations to digital tools on a larger scale. Indeed, cultural practices fostered by our relation to tech- nical objects are the operating forces that structure our relation to temporal- ity. Being out of pace with the digital means being in a temporality that is no longer in sync with the technicity that fundamentally shapes processes of individuation today. Located at the heart of our technical modernity, pro- cesses of individuation take place in a drastically changing environment in which the digital now plays a fundamental role in shaping the relation between minds, bodies, and technics.

Written by Phokeng Tsepo Setai & Anaïs Nony

Creativity under Confinement is a process of history-making and archiving of our present moment, in which human life force and the energy of the creative impulse are the apparatuses of writing that are used to imprint the present into the endless annals of time. The lockdown was for many of our contributors a journey that had to be traversed and powered through on the inside as much as on the outside. If possibilities of reinvention and creative freedom were to flourish or gain wings, a space had to be carved for the person to wage combat against the self before they could take the fight to the objective realm. Potential is a dormant beast waiting to be awoken from slumber.

Creativity under Confinement resulted from seeing the importance of recording and archiving human moments through the artistic and critical impulses that occur under difficult circumstances to imagine new alternatives out of them. We are living during an era of uncertainty; creativity is a life force that becomes stimulated under conditions of constraint and is the best barometer of the spirit of the times.