AccueilLow-Tech / High-Tech

Low-Tech / High-Tech

Low-Tech / High-Tech

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Publié le mardi 13 décembre 2011 par Loïc Le Pape

Résumé

We intend in this workshop to reconsider how new technologies flow and circulate around the globe. One cannot ignore the obvious fact that we are seeing the emergence of new technological and industrial centres which accompany the rapid redistribution of economic power around the world; but one should also take into account the fact that technology is – and has always been – flowing and circulating in much more unexpected ways than predicted by the old-fashioned diffusionist models which are still prevalent, even in these times of globalisation. By privileging in this workshop (and in our collective project) a comparative approach between three very different geographical regions – South Asia, the Middle East and Europe – we hope to be able to propose an approach to technological flow, which will be sufficiently global and comparative, for going beyond the specificities of any particular culture or society, and which may really better help us understand the dynamics of technological circulations and the processes by which technologies are reinvented in different locations.

Annonce

Objectives

In his fascinating assessment of attitudes and approaches to technology, David Edgerton has shown how the history of technology is generally represented as the story of 'innovation' and 'invention'. As a consequence "inventors are ahead of their time, while societies suffer from the grip of the past, resulting in a supposed slowness to adapt to new technology" (Edgerton 2006: IX). What Edgerton proposes instead is to reconsider the history of technology from the point of view of use: David Edgerton is an historian but his insights about technology do not only concern the past; they also invite a reconsideration of the present enabling us to reject, the distinctions commonly made between 'high' and 'low', 'modern' and 'traditional', 'futuristic' and 'obsolete', 'indigenous' and 'global', technologies. This is not to deny that certain recent technologies are genuinely innovative or 'new'; nor is it to consider that low-tech and alternative technologies should necessarily be preferred to ones which appear more 'sophisticated'. What it does suggest however is that a radically different conception of 'innovation' and 'invention' emerges once one rejects the hierarchy commonly made between 'innovation' and 'adaptation', 'invention and 'diffusion', and it is a much more inclusive one. One should also add that such a change of perspective suggests a less restricted notion of what should be considered as technology today.

Another consequence of this approach is that it invites us to reconsider the circulation of technology from a different perspective. We therefore intend in this workshop to reconsider how new technologies flow and circulate around the globe. One cannot ignore the obvious fact that we are seeing the emergence of new technological and industrial centres which accompany the rapid redistribution of economic power around the world; but one should also take into account the fact that technology is – and has always been - flowing and circulating in much more unexpected ways than predicted by the old-fashioned diffusionist models which are still prevalent, even in these times of globalisation. By privileging in this workshop (and in our collective project) a comparative approach between three very different geographical regions - South Asia, the Middle East and Europe – we hope to be able to propose an approach to technological flow, which will be sufficiently global and comparative, for going beyond the specificities of any particular culture or society, and which may really better help us understand the dynamics of technological circulations and the processes by which technologies are reinvented in different locations.

Organisers

  • French Institute of Pondicherry (Pondicherry)
  • URMIS/ IRD (Paris)
  • SARAI/CSDS (New-Delhi)
  • CEMAM (Beirut)

Coordinators

  • Denis Vidal (IRD)
  • Emmanuel Grimaud (CNRS)
  • Ravi Sundaram (SARAI/CSDS)

Venue : Main Indology Hall, French Institute of Pondicherry, 11 Saint-Louis Street, Pondicherry 605 001

Programme

15 DECEMBER 2011

Moderator: Eric Denis ( IFP, Pondicherry)

9.30 am-10 am INTRODUCTION
(D.Vidal, R.Sundaram, E.Grimaud)

  • 10 am-11 am INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURES: HIGH TECH OR/AND LOW TECH?
    Ravi Sundaram (SARAI/CSDS, Delhi)
  • 11am-12 am THE WEB AS A "HIGH AND LOW TECH" VEHICLE FOR SOCIAL INNOVATION
    A "web science" interpretation of the Arab Spring
    Christophe Varin (CEMAM, Beirut)
  • 12 am - 13 am THE VALUE OF AN OPAQUE ECONOMY
    Solomon Benjamin (IFP, Pondicherry)

Lunch

  • 2. 30 pm - 3. 30 pm TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE NEEDIEST
    The research programme on energy, habitation and livelihood in an Institute of Advanced Scientific Research (1970-1990)
    Dhruv Raina (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi)
  • 3.30 pm - 4.30 pm FREE LAPTOP SCHEME FOR STUDENTS IN TAMILNADU
    Free emancipation?
    Balasubramaniam D. (IFP, Pondicherry)

4.30 pm - 5 pm Tea

  • 5 pm - 6 pm AUTORICKSHAW
    Career of a rolling object between India, Egypt and Congo
    Yan Philippe Tastevin (Lesc, Nanterre)
  • 6 pm - 7 pm TEXTILE MATERIALS IN THE ERA OF BIOTECHNOLOGIES
    Silk as a case study
    Annabel Vallard (FNRS/LAMC-ULB, Bruxelles)

16 DECEMBER

Moderator: Ravi Sundaram (Sarai/CSDS, Delhi)

  • 9.30 am - 10.30 am ROBOTS AND TINBOXES!
    The resistible future of humanoid robotics
    Denis Vidal (IRD/URMIS, Paris)
  • 10.30 am - 11.30 am THE 'WEAK' CIRCUITS OF A HUMANOID
    Or how far can we stretch Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
    Emmanuel Grimaud (CNRS/LESC, Nanterre)
  • 11.30 am - 12.30 pm "WHAT DOES YOUR FACE LOOK LIKE?"
    About plastic surgery and technologies of the face
    Nicolas Puig (URMIS/CEMAM, Paris, Beirut)

12.30 pm - 2 pm Lunch

  • 2 pm - 3 pm EXTRA-MODERN: THE X-RAY AS A BOUNDARY OBJECT IN 'BONESETTING' CULTURES OF HYDERABAD CITY
    Guy Attewell (IFP, Pondicherry)
  • 3 pm - 4 pm THE "MAGIC" OF INJECTIONS?
    A historical perspective on the popularity of injections in South Asia, c. 1920-80.
    Projit B Mukharji (University of Pennsylvania)
  • 4 pm - 5 pm PUBLISHING AN EROTIC MAGAZINE IN THE ARAB WORLD
    The case of Jasad in Lebanon
    Franck Mermier (CNRS, Paris)

5 pm - 5.30 pm Tea

5.30 pm - 6.30 pm Special session (introduced by Emmanuel Grimaud)
A screening of the very best short films of Charlie Bower

17 December

10 am - 12 am COLLECTIVE DISCUSSION AND PROGRAMME FOR THE FUTURE

Lieux

  • 11 Saint-Louis Street (Main Indology Hall, French Institute of Pondicherry)
    Pondichéry, Inde

Dates

  • jeudi 15 décembre 2011
  • vendredi 16 décembre 2011
  • samedi 17 décembre 2011

Mots-clés

  • lowtech, hightech, Institut français de Pondichéry

Contacts

  • IFP Contact
    courriel : ifpinfo [at] ifpindia [dot] org

Source de l'information

  • Nicolas de Lavergne
    courriel : delavergne [at] msh-paris [dot] fr

Pour citer cette annonce

« Low-Tech / High-Tech », Journée d'étude, Calenda, Publié le mardi 13 décembre 2011, http://calenda.org/206586