Andrew Feenberg’s technical politics and ICTs

Track: Speech and invited papers



Andrew Feenberg Critical Theory of Technology and STS

Invited papers

Graeme Kirkpatrick Feenberg between instrumentalism and substantivism: formal principles versus humanistic values in democratic technical politics
Cheryl Martens Questioning Technology in South America: The case of Ecuador’s free/open knowledge movement
Tom Redshaw Radical technologies and cultures of knowledge: the case of bitcoin
Lars Kristensen Bicycle cinema: Machines, Identity and the Moving Image
Steve Walker Technology and social change: some shifting patterns in technological innovation


Graeme Kirkpatrick, Professor in Media Arts, Aesthetics and Narration, University of Skövde, Sweden


This panel will be devoted to an examination of one concept in Andrew Feenberg’s critical theory of technology, namely, his idea of a technical politics. The papers present a series of case studies that look at the contested character of technology design; political projects that use technology; technical innovations that are invested with political significance by contemporary social actors, and media representations of established technology designs that show them as both unresolved and active in social relations. The overall goal of the session will be to clarify what is meant by the idea of a ‘technical politics’, what the utility of the concept might be in practice and how it might be modified in light of our examples.