“Technologies of friendship: In search for a diverse common world”
Dr. Tomás Sánchez Criado
Munich Center for Technology in Society, TU Munich
Thursday, April 20th between 12-2pm in the STS/CSIS Conference Room (SSH Building #1246)
As usual, we will pre-circulate a text which will be briefly introduced at the start of the session. The introduction will be followed by an hour or so of lively discussion about the text, so please come having read the paper in advance. Food and refreshments will be provided!
If you are interested in attending, please RSVP using the google form below. We will send a copy of the text at the end of this week before the event to those who register!
Lunch will be provided.
The intense co-existence afforded in Spanish indignados protests by public space occupations had the unexpected effect of forging unprecedented relations and forms of affective politicisation. This had a huge impact in the activism around ‘functional diversity:’ transforming a self-representational fight by independent-living activists to substitute ‘dis/ability’ and ‘residential care’ framings into a wider exploration on how to enjoy and do things together with previously strange others. Drawing on my ethnographic engagement in the activist design collective En torno a la silla (ETS) emerging in that context, I will explore the register of friendship to narrate the intimate entanglements developed thereon: reclaiming the means to increase the conditions of access between bodily diverse people they delved into processes of collaborative prototyping and spatial intervention to remediate disabling body-environment nexuses impeding them to develop stronger bonds; and crafted meetings and documentation interfaces to articulate or share the experiences there made available, making newer alliances possible. From the very beginning their aim was not just the ‘inclusion’ of ‘disabled people’ through newer ‘technical aids’, but the sheer experimentation with spaces of encounter, bringing to the fore what ETS referred to as ‘technologies of friendship.’ Far from referring to ready-made commodities enabling a distinctive and static ontology of relations, this term designates frail and careful cosmopolitical explorations of the appropriate forms of relatedness, a recursive material opening up of friendship between bodily diverse strangers who might otherwise never meet were it not for their troublesome search for inhabiting and forging a diverse common world
Dr. Sánchez Criado is Senior Researcher at the Munich Center for Technology in Society, TU Munich. He is a Social Anthropologist with specialization in STS whose studies and publications have focused monographically on the ethnographic exploration of the more-than-human transformations of care practices, through an analysis of the prototyping, installation, maintenance/repair, and re-design of different corporate, institutional & activist ecologies of support in Europe, with a focus on Spain.