Marvellous, Electrical: The Man in the Machine

A burned-out crop header

…the nonhuman entities with which we share the world – including, but not limited to, our tools – are active in their own right. They have their own powers, interests, and points of view. And if we engineer them, in various ways, they “engineer” us as well, nudging us to adapt to their demands. Automobiles, computers, and kidney dialysis machines were made to serve particular human needs; but in turn, they also induce human habits and behaviours to change. Nonhuman things must therefore be seen as…active agents with their own intentions and goals, and which affect one another, as well as affecting us…

…Things are creative. And again, one of the great potentialities of science fiction is to illuminate the positive, productive powers of things, of materials, and of technological apparatuses.

– Steven Shaviro, Discognition

This week, Marvellous, Electrical heads out to the fields of Queensland’s Darling Downs for a ride in a modern farming machine.

When you find yourself at the wheel of a self-driving harvester, just who’s steering who?

Read Marvellous Electrical: Module, part 2 here.

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