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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


History and philosophy of science and technology, 6.5 OTHER HUMANITIES

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Culture, Theory and Critique


In this article, I examine Simondon's concept of the technical object reflecting on its analogous relationship to digital technology. Intrinsic to such an analysis is Simondon's distinction between the abstract and concrete and his specific critique of the hylomorphic model. In a deeply rich example, Simondon, contra Aristotle, mobilises the process of mould-making as an exemplar of the modulated ensemble of forces that prefigure any formations of matter through form. I analyse Simondon's paradigmatic criticism while at the same time carving out the potential intersections that emerge through the kinaesthetic awareness of the body. By doing so I highlight the implicit relational formation that occurs through the process of object making that is at odds with ontologies that underpin digital technology. Finally, I analyse how the transformation of object making realised through digital fabrication radically transforms our relationship to objects claiming that such technology remains beholden to hylomorphic schemata.