Edge design + the way things are
Jean Louis Frechin's Thoughts
Annie Gentès + Jean-Paul Robert, January 13, 2020
Jean Louis Frechin_Wapix YJMM, cadres chronopictographiques
Jean Louis Frechin_Wapix YJMM, cadres chronopictographiques
What would he have said about these things that have become ‘intelligent’: do they reason, or rather do they arraign us? And what is more, now they are ‘communicating’. Quite true: they exchange things between themselves. But, just as language speaks to us at the same time as we think it is we who are speaking, they communicate us. Just as while we think we are manipulating them, they manipulate us. Objects are subjects. And we, who thought we were subjects, are little more now than their objects. We thought that using them would set us free, save time, enhance space, improve utility and service. But instead we live in immediacy and no longer think in time or duration; we fancy ourselves to be ubiquitous or nomads yet we can’t do without artificial limbs or life-lines; we have to respond to the services that are proposed by objects, but to do so we have to learn how. We have become useful to them, and it is we who serve. Objects perfect themselves, get cunningly simpler, smaller, smarter, less visible. They pretend to be learning to get to know us. They are customizing us. We think we assert ourselves by them, but it is they who assert the degree of servility to which they have reduced us. They do not serve, they enslave. We want to individualize ourselves: they deprive us of subjectivity. We think we are gaining another alter ego: they alienate and separate us by interposing and replacing relations with another. We think we are gaining in freedom: they subject us. The higher their merchant value, the more they impose merchandise values as the only social value. The more they communicate, the more they isolate us in communities. The newer they are, the sooner they go out of fashion and become obsolete. And we can no longer even lay them down or get rid of them. They pollute us and end up as pollution.

Thorsten Franck_Aide à Projet - rangement Tube_Box
Thorsten Franck_Aide à Projet - rangement Tube_Box
Consider what Giorgio Agamben has to say on this, in his updating of the notion of apparatus, as it was developed by Michel Foucault. The Italian philosopher sums up this notion in three points. ‘1) It is a heterogeneous set that includes each thing virtually, whether it be discursive or not: speeches, institutions, edifices, laws, police measures, philosophical propositions. Considered in itself, the apparatus is the network that grows up between these elements. 2) The apparatus always has a concrete strategic function and is always inscribed in a power relationship. 3) As such, it results in relationships of power and knowledge.’

Jean Louis Frechin_Waaz AL, étagère support de musique
Jean Louis Frechin_Waaz AL, étagère support de musique
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