[iDC] reading list // religious mediated spaces

Simon Biggs simon at babar.demon.co.uk
Sat Sep 9 11:00:57 EDT 2006

Of course things are interconnected. However, it might be that you are
ascribing causality where it is not especially strong and employing a
definition of technology that is too broad to be useful in this debate. I
would accept that language can be portrayed as a technology but wonder
whether an entire belief system can be regarded as one. Yes, a belief system
is, in its formation, an aparatus and is concerned with systems of control
but does that make it a technology? Conversely, I would agree that belief
systems employ technologies of knowledge (such as how language becomes
belief dependent) but again, this does not suggest that belief and its means
are the same thing. The very concept of belief, of faith, whether in a
mystical idea or in scientific rationalism, should always be held up for
sceptical analysis.

I was not suggesting that technology evolves separate to culture. It is of
course produced within cultural contexts and in that sense is expressive of
those contexts. I have written essays on just that point.

My original post was focused very much on the distinction between praxis
(technology) and ethics (science/mysticism). These things are different
modalities. I was not seeking to critique the Marxist view of history (I
broadly agree with it in its purer forms) and was quite tongue in cheek when
I referred to Zizek's "confusion". My feeling is that Charlie was being
ironic as well when he referred to Zizek's Marxist concern with preserving
the Christian legacy. It is likely Zisek himself was being ironic!

I was seeking to open out the sources for Modernity. It is often claimed as
a Western product, but that can be shown to be only part of the story.



On 09.09.06 16:03, "Saul Ostrow" <sostrow at gate.cia.edu> wrote:

> You miss my point which may be thought of as straight forward Marxist view of
> base and
> supra-structure in the sense their is no autonomy or disconnected discourses -
> technologies - everything from language  through to the digital (and beyond
> can not) be
> decontextualized (made into things in themselves circumscribed by a history of
> practice)
> - they exist within (are embedded within) cultural networks which effectively
> generate
> both the demand (prioritize the development) for their development and their
> application
> (the two are not inseperable except with in bourgeois (sectarian) ideologies
> -- the
> resultng techologies (inclusive of their theory and mechanics) in turn effect
> (potentially challenge or re-enforce) those cultural values that give rise to
> them --
> the judea- christian belief system (which is also may be viewed as a
> technology)  has
> had in the west a significant effect on how we organize both scientific
> thought and the
> objects upon which it chooses to focus - rationalist thought (whcih is not
> antthetical
> to religous thought) is merely an attempt to regulate religous doctrine and
> practice -
> My point being that each society 9from huner gathers to ourselves) produce
> both systems
> of thought in accord with their operating systems - and while these in time my
> may
> over-write that program, they  do not merely delete sections of the program in
> the 
> believe that their is no residue of it in the operable in other words we are
> dealing
> with an integrated system, rather than a system of parallel constructs
> Saul

Simon Biggs

simon at littlepig.org.uk
AIM: simonbiggsuk

Research Professor, Edinburgh College of Art

s.biggs at eca.ac.uk

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