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Media infrastructures and (un)readiness-to-hand
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4697-5394
2019 (English)In: Infrastructures and Inequalities: Media Industries, Digital Cultures and Politics: Book of Abstracts, 2019, p. 10-10Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to explore a development of the concept “ready-to-hand” in relation to media infrastructures. Following an (mostly) American/pragmatic reception of Heidegger (Dreyfus, Blattner) I will discuss how “unready-to-hand”, the mode of being of equipment that fail to fulfill its purpose, can be a useful concept to approach the phenomenon of technological breakdown and planned obsolescence that are part of present day everyday life with technologies. In the process of disclosing these fundamental structures of the information society, the infrastructure’s aspect as equipment serves as object for contemplation (they are there, we rely on them, but in the conducts of everyday life we seldom think about them). In the terminology of Martin Heidegger this mode of being of equipment can be understood as “ready-to-hand” (Heidegger 1927). However, following Hubert Dreyfus’ development of Heideggerean phenomenology, one could also talk about "unreadiness-to-hand" (Blattner 2006) as the way equipment reveal themselves. When equipment fulfill their purpose they are transparent, they become part of the activity in which they are being put to use, but when they do not fulfill their purpose we suddenly become aware of them -- the transparency is lost. A common example is a hammer that is too heavy or too big to use. When it comes to the everyday life of information society the unreadiness-to-hand is an all-too-familiar experience: incompatibility between different applications, constant upgrades that renders hardware obsolete, slow Internet-connections etc are common features of technology. Hence living in a culture that heavily relies on equipment that cannot be fully trusted requires strategies and attitudes to deal with this constant threat of malfunction. How do we secure ontological security, continuity, integrity and memory in all this?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. p. 10-10
National Category
Media and Communication Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-40787OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-40787DiVA, id: diva2:1365816
Conference
ECREA section conference, Helsinki, Finland, October 21-22, 2019
Available from: 2019-10-25 Created: 2019-10-25 Last updated: 2019-11-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
  • rtf