Abstracts

In this article, some frames are set-up that may allow for a closer (yet postponed) explication of the fate of the political in Modest_Witness @ Second_Millenium. A reference to Max Weber’s Wissenschaft als Beruf formats a reading of Haraway’s stated aim, i.e. to contribute to some (future) "realignment of the technical and the political (39)". Since the latter process involves the "undoing" of the "founding border trace of modern science – that between the technical and the political (267)", and the consequent "reinvention" of a "finally amodern desire for justice (ib.)", that reference to Weber imposed itself almost automatically. Some references to J. Derrida’s Spectres de Marx could, so it is argued, be helpful in rethinking the co-ordinates of the political (as well as the historical, the democratic, and the hap of happening), in line with Haraway’s transformation of the above "border trace" and the correlate "reinvention" (rather than invention!) of some democratic ethos as "core"-constituent to truely modest (i.e. strongly objective) technoscientific productions and formations

This text focuses on the concept of diffraction, which D.J Haraway introduces in her readings of comics, ads, and pictures. Diffraction presents as a fourth category of semantics. It tries to make a difference in the fields of technoscience, which she approaches as a material semiotic practice. In making this difference, she hopes to realign politics and technoscience. In so doing, scientists won’t appear any longer as modest (in the sense of : uninvolved) witnesses, but as mutated modest witnesses, that are always already involved : in their research they diffract the psycho-dynamic processes that strengthen the genefetishism that characterizes technoscience. In Modest_Witness @ Second_Millenium Haraway offers readings of some comics and pictures, that illustrate the transformation which diffraction is to initiate, i.e. the move away from aesthetic pleasure to anxious humour. The article handles some of these readings and illustrations, in an attempt to clarify that transformative process.

Some musings on the title, that is to grant vzw Mariage de Raison its legal blessing : can the relationship between the supposedly interior philosophical Purport and its supposedly exterior technical Support (its carrier, postman, or delivery-system; its mail) come to a marriage ? and more specifically : a marriage of convenience, made not for love, but for the personal benefit of one or both partners ? Must not any philosophy, installing a clear divide between between Purport and Support, automatically preclude any marriage, exept some marriage of convenience as investment with a view to a beneficial return (to sender) without the occurence of any losses in the process ? How do marriage and convenience relate ? How pure can convenience be ? Yet can marriage of convenience and marriage of love, or passion, still be kept apart, neatly and purely, once the Inside/Outside dichotomy is discreditted or devalued ? Could the Support, then, not be the (necessary) point (without point, perhaps, a point with no delimitable borders) where the Purport is sited besides itself, impassioned ? Could the Support (Tele-Technology) not be a name for the impassioned and impassioning virtuality of the truthful Purport ? A name for the not merely accidental, but ontological or necessary division (and futurality) of the Purport ?


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