chapter  18
24 Pages

Becoming-Heterarch: On Technocultural Theory, Minor Science, and the Production of Space

The prefix "techno" and its cohort "cyber" have racked up an enormous amount of discursive "frequent-flyer mileage," thanks to their ever rampant employment by critics, academics, and advertisers.' With the rapid entrenehment, reproduction, and dissemination ofthis discourse, one might get the impression that its referent also has no "limit." From genetics and athletic shoes to jet-set academics and TV evangelists, technology has been and continues to be (re)inserted into nearly every cultural field, whether high or low, marginal or elite and regardless of class. Despite all-too-obvious "unequal developments" in terms of various groups' ability to access or acquire more "advanced" technologies, these machines and systems still seem to be everywhere. Even if there are no material apparati in place, the place itselfis inevitably affected (as in the case ofisolated regions that are polluted) andjor permeated (phenomenologically, perceptually, or semiotically) by technological apparati located elsewhere. Yet it is with this latter set of claims that theory's tendencies towards "totalization" manifest themselves, in spite of the supposed "postmodern condition" of partiality, fragmentation and local, "situated" critiques. 3 In the influential case of Heidegger-brand

phenomenology, the claim is even stronger: we are all placed within this hypertechnological age, whether scientist or farmer, itinerant woodsman or philosopher.4 According to this view, technology is metaphysics, and unfolds itseifwhile it "enframes" everything else. The "weaker" version ofthis argument claims that, although technology is not an "in itself," it is still monolithic and operates "one way," hegemonically "progressing." While this may not be totalization, it invokes its kissing cousin, determinism.