Intimate Technology

Intimate Technology S01E06: Also, the Dichotomy of Pragmatism and Perversion

Not only our technology itself, but also the way we interact with it varies and evolves over time. Do we treat our technologies with more care and sentimentality these days than we did in the past? In her short film Also, the Dichotomy of Pragmatism and Perversion, Tiziana Kruger examines the question through an unusually old-fashioned object: a simple rug.

Usually, when we discuss our (over)attachment to technology, we think of ultramodern tech. We say that we consider our smartphones as something similar to pets or companions, than mere tools. Or that virtual reality may have the potential to replace our real-world connections. And so on. But perhaps we are forgetting that, in a way, it was always like this. The farmer at the dawn of agriculture could have had a favourite scythe. The medieval knight certainly had a great attachment to his shield and armor. We have for a long time taken pride in the tidiness and tasteful d├ęcor of our homes.

To remind us of this, Kruger flips the script. Her video shows a simple yet unusual scene: a hand holding a comb, carefully combing the fringe of a rug. The tender act of care becomes something strange to watch when applied to a technology we usually pay little attention to. We think rugs are made to stay under our feet, they are not objects of affection. Yet the movie reminds us that technology is a very broad category. When we talk about intimate technology, we are not necessarily talking about something new, but something very old indeed.

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