Towards a Future of Technology
Over the past two, years Mimi Onuoha and Diana Nucera (Mother Cyborg) have been publishing tech zines, resource guides, and workshops that help individuals navigate the future of technology with more agency. CultureSource caught up with them to learn more about the key principles that guide their thinking when engaging with emerging digital innovation.
A People’s Guide to Tech’s Five Principles for Understanding Tech are five ideas designed to promote holistic and reciprocal relationships to technology.
Though they can be applied to understanding the specific tech industry, companies, and products of today, our Five Principles for Understanding Tech have a longer and wider arc. They are about what is required to treat technology as all that it could be: a tool of mutuality, a function of the natural world, and a key to opening up more ways of understanding, knowing, relating, and being.
We can view technology as remote and inscrutable, or we can treat it as a system that any and all of us can change. If we choose the latter, we foreground what artist Olia Lialina calls “our own ability to program and reprogram the computers at the heart of technological systems.” These Five Principles are meant to help us start with reprogramming our own assumption first.
Technology is Transformative
Technology has the power to fundamentally change how we consider and interact with the world. This ability is transformative.
Technology is Relational
None of us lives alone. We are constantly building relationships with one another, other creatures, and the planet. Our technology is intertwined with those relationships.
Technology is Natural
Our technological systems depend on the natural world, and the natural world is affected by our technological systems. Neither can be divorced from the other.
Technology is Cyclical
The systems and devices built in the present carry within them the power dynamics of the past.
Technology Holds Many Futures
We refuse inevitability in favor of multiplicity. Every technological system could have been different. Every technological system can be changed.