Deadline for proposals (English or French): May 15, 2021
Issue edited by Eleni Mitropoulou and Carsten Wilhelm
Issue to be released in January 2022
Download PDF of the current call : shorturl.at/iFGHY
This issue of the journal Interfaces Numériques centers on the contemporary relationship between Technics and Culture against the backdrop of an (im)possible technicist culture (Ellul, 1988: 165-182) as well as the consequences of the technical as independent of (human) intentions (Jonas, 1979). This field of reflection is well established in the Information and Communication Sciences at an international level, including discussions of “mediatization/datafication,” “responsibility,” and “sustainability” in the face of the dynamics of highly technicized communication cultures (Couldry and Hepp, 2016; Waisbord, 2019). These dynamics are yet to be understood and analyzed more deeply. In the midst of the rise of digital technologies and in light of the seminal classic works on technics by Benjamin, Leroi-Gourhan, Simondon or De Certeau and works devoted to the relationship between technology and culture (Humbert, 1991; De Noblet, 1981), a multidisciplinary approach in the humanities and social sciences is needed on these questions. They are as urgent in the media industries, which are now resolutely digital, as in the creative industries (or those claiming to be such), defined by UNESCO (2009) and according to information and communication scholars’ works (Bouquillon, Miège & Moeglin, 2013).
The communication industries are mediated, creative, and by essence, cultural. They are industrial notably by “the repeated implementation of techniques to obtain a certain number of results” (Humbert, 1991, p. 54-55) or by the place that quantification and data occupy in its professional practices (Martin, 2020). The usual relations or ruptures between culture and technics will be summoned here to be exceeded in favor of a mutual recognition of their role in society: culture feeds on technics and technics has meaning essentially in its cultural context. This interaction produces pragmatic as much as symbolic results: tools, language, uses, relations, know-how, soft skills, materiality, representation: “[Humans] and technics form a complex, they are inseparable, [humans] invent themselves in Technics and Technics invent themselves in [humans]. This couple is a process where life negotiates with the non-living by organizing it, but in such a way that this organization makes system and has its own laws” (Stiegler, 1998: 190, our translation).
With the current issue, our aim is to question what configures culture and technology as a milieu. How do they hold together as they interfere (Ricœur, 1990)? The root of the word culture itself contains the idea of cultivation and at the same time of the transformation of matter (Williams, 1985). Is it technology that transforms the culture of communication at the risk of standardizing it or is it culture or rather cultural hegemonies that lead to technical transformations (Pignier & Robert, 2015) and their more or less diversified appropriations? And beyond that, how does technology relate to the transformations of objects and practices of culture (Doueihi, 2011)? The notion of transformation emerges as operational in this regard, especially if we approach the relationship between culture and technology through the example of communication between beings. A certain level of change is needed for a technical element to produce a cultural paradigm equivalent to the changes induced by the emergence of writing (Souchier, Jeanneret and Le Marec, 2003), industrialization or computational reason (Bachimont, 2010).
Technical culture.s thus expresses the situation produced by a technical irruption or the irruption of a technology when it takes root in a society at a socially and historically given moment, when it transforms the state of things and the states of mind proper to the devices and practices of communication by being included in those processes while at the same time finding in part its own sources in these same contextualized practices. It is the perception by society at this given moment of a discontinuity, and potentially of a disruption, that manifests the evaluation of a technology by its culture; this evaluation might, for example, be “innovative”. The situated character of the latter – manufactured, for example, by accompanying discourse (discours d’escorte) or encouraged by the doxa – will – in the scope of our special issue – imply a critical reflection, an openness to comparative perspectives on the social, cultural, local, historical or international level.
Producers just as much as users of technology are agents in the making of technical culture, of a culture of operations and projects, of promises and of feats of technology, planned or experienced, and of the dismissal and non-lieux of technology. It is depending on hopes, successes and failures that the cultures of the technical are at the same time something factual (because they manifest the production of technology in society) and something transcendent (because they invest the technical rationality with creativity and design).
The above questions can be explored within the humanities and social sciences by the following possible approaches:
Design, today, is the object of vindication by designers themselves, but also of other actors who retain either its material dimension (Berrebi-Hoffmann, Bureau and Lallement, 2018), or the diversity of the methods (Beudon, 2017), the aura of creativity or a desired innovation (Jevnaker, 2010). But if we consider that a discipline is also instituted by the retrospectives that build and perpetuate its representation with a view to further developments, it is notable that design is constructed, mediated, through a staging of its artifacts and techniques. How to question the relation between culture and design? What can we say about its singular relationship to industry when design, a “project” discipline, is summoned, in a given cultural context, as a motif, as a figure within discourses on innovation, management or even organizations and in quite recent media conditions in and with “the digital”?
- Promises and practices of change
Whether culturally situated or cross-cultural practices are involved, technology is deployed through its promise of change, innovation and progress. These notions challenge the expectations and desires of a culture because not all cultures want the same thing (Duchamp, 1999: 183). How does technology fit in with the desire and/or imagination of a culture (Martuccelli, 2013), or even a doxa, i.e. a set of opinions received without discussion, as self-evident, in a given society? How does technology integrate into society or transform it differently according to its doxic or cultural motivation? Should we look for the problems for which technologies represent a solution in a given context and culture or are those contexts universal? Developing a reflection on the culture(s) of the technical allows us not to stray from an essentialist dimension for thinking about the technical: rather than pre-supposing change, innovation or progress, we can think about what makes (Simondon, 2001) change either effective, simulated or imagined at the heart of an ambient techno-enthusiasm, techno-criticism or techno-phobia (Treleani, 2014; Jarrige, 2014).
- Norms, uses and governmentality
Although technical tools have allowed humanity to progressively detach itself, albeit partially, from biological constraints and have thus favored the “fabrication” of culture (Leroi-Gourhan, 1945), the interdependence between technology and the living is strong. If the ecological crisis is the crystallization of this issue, the Corona-crisis brings a very concrete, additional proof, in our lives. One ground on which this relationship is negotiated and organized are the norms that frame and stabilize these developments. Collective negotiations of norms are inseparable from controversies about values and are never free of cultural subtexts. Underneath the apparent simplification and stabilization of processes of production and use, standardization is at the base of a number of communicational, industrial and commercial issues. An analysis of the culture of technology must be interested in both the regimes of governmentality (Rouvroy and Berns, 2013) that are expressed in technical norms and the anthropological norms of use. An expression of “care of the self (souci de soi)” (Foucault, 1984) of users, and their ambitions of “responsibility” (Jonas, 1979), this individual orientation is also accompanied, particularly in the context of global challenges and crises (pandemic, climate, scarce resources) by collective questioning (ethical issues of artificial intelligence, digital sobriety…). How does the culture of digital technology play the card of global challenges and crises (...) to impose itself? In doing so, does it not tend to exclude and obscure other technical cultures that can, and could, confront these challenges and the issues that are linked to them?
BACHIMONT Bruno, 2010, Le sens de la technique : Le numérique et le calcul, Belles lettres.
BERREBI-HOFFMANN Isabelle, BUREAU Marie-Christine et LALLEMENT Michel, 2018, Makers : enquête sur les laboratoires du changement social, Paris, Éditions du Seuil.
BEUDON Nicolas, 2017, « Mener un projet avec le design thinking », I2D – Information, données & documents, vol. 54, no 1.
BOUQUILLON Philippe, MIÈGE Bernard et MOEGLIN Pierre (2013), L’industrialisation des biens symbolique : Les industries créatives en regard des industries culturelles, Presses Universitaires de Grenoble.
COULDRY Nick et HEPP Andreas, 2016, The mediated construction of reality, Cambridge Polity.
DE NOBLET Jocelyn, 1981, Manifeste pour le développement de la culture technique, Centre de Recherche sur la Culture Technique.
DOUEIHI Milad (2011), « Un humanisme numérique », Communication & langages, vol. 167, n° 1, NecPlus.
DUCHAMP Robert, 1999, Méthodes de conception de produits nouveaux, Hermès Science Publications.
ELLUL Jacques, 1988, Le bluff technologique, Éditions Hachette.
FOUCAULT Michel, 1984. Le souci de soi. Histoire de la sexualité III, Gallimard.
HUMBERT Marc, 1991, « Perdre pour gagner ? Technique ou culture, technique et culture », Revue Espaces Temps, 45-46.
JARRIGE François, 2014, Technocritiques : Du refus des machines à la contestation des technosciences, La Découverte.
JEVNAKER Birgit Helene, 2010, « How Design Becomes Strategic », Design Management Journal, vol. 11, no1.
JONAS Hans, 1979, Le Principe responsabilité : une éthique pour la civilisation technologique, Éditions Cerf.
LEROI-GOURHAN André, 1945, Milieu et Techniques, Albin Michel.
MARTIN Olivier, 2020, L'empire des chiffres. Une sociologie de la quantification, Armand Colin.
MARTUCCELLI Danilo, 2016, « L’innovation, le nouvel imaginaire du changement », Quaderni [En ligne], 91, journals.openedition.org/quaderni/1007 ; DOI : 10.4000/quaderni.1007
PIGNIER Nicole et ROBERT Pascal (coord.), 2015, « Cultiver « le numérique » ?, revue Interfaces Numériques, vol. 4, n° 3/2015. Lien : https://www.unilim.fr/interfaces-numeriques/382
RICOEUR Paul, 1990, « Entre herméneutique et sémiotique – Hommage à A. J. Greimas », Nouveaux Actes Sémiotiques n° 7, Pulim.
ROUVROY Antoinette et BERNS Thomas, 2013, « Gouvernementalité algorithmique et perspectives d'émancipation. Le disparate comme condition d'individuation par la relation ? », Réseaux, n° 177, https://www.cairn.info/revue-reseaux-2013-1-page-163.htm
SIMONDON Gilbert, 2001, Du mode d’existence des objets techniques, Aubier.
SOUCHIER Emmanuel, JEANNERET Yves et LE MAREC Joëlle (2003), Lire, écrire, récrire – Objets, signes et pratiques des médias informatisés. Bibliothèque publique d’information.
STIEGLER Bernard, 1998, « Leroi-Gourhan : L’inorganique organisé », in Les cahiers de médiologie, 6(2), Cairn.info. https://doi.org/10.3917/cdm.006.0187
TRELEANI Matteo, 2014, « Dispositifs numériques : régimes d'interaction et de croyance », Actes Sémiotiques [En ligne] n° 11.
TRÉSOR DE LA LANGUE FRANÇAISE INFORMATISÉ, http://www.atilf.fr/tlfi, ATILF - CNRS & Université de Lorraine
WAISBORD Silvio, 2019, Communication. A Post Discipline, Cambridge Polity.
WILLIAMS Raymond, 1985, Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Oxford University Press.
The Submission should be made in the form of a proposal delivered as an attached file (file name of the author's name) in rtf, docx or odt format. It consists of two parts:
- A summary of the paper of 4,000 signs maximum, not including spaces;
- A short biography of the author(s), including scientific titles, research field, scientific position (the discipline in which the researcher is located), the section of affiliation.
The file must be returned, by e-mail, by May 15, 2021, to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Reception will be acknowledged by e-mail.
- May 15, 2021: deadline for the reception of proposals;
- June 15, 2021: notification to the authors of the proposals;
- September 1, 2021: deadline for the submission of articles;
- September 1 to November 1, 2021: double-blind review and exchange with the authors;
- December 1, 2021: submission of final articles;
- End of January 2022: publication of the issue in both online (open access) and paper versions.
The editorial committee will meet to select the abstracts and will give its answer in June 2021.
The complete article will have to be formatted according to the style sheet that will accompany the committee’s response (maximum 25,000 characters, including spaces). It should be sent by e-mail before September 1, 2021 in two versions: one completely anonymous and the other nominative.
A second international committee will organize a double-blind reading of the articles and will send its recommendations to the authors by November 1, 2021.
The camera-ready final text must be returned by December 1, 2021.
Please note that articles which do not meet the deadlines and recommendations cannot be considered.
Download PDF of the current call : shorturl.at/iFGHY
Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Interfaces Numériques is a scientific journal recognized as a qualifying journal in Information and Communication Sciences, and is currently under the direction of Nicole PIGNIER and Benoît DROUILLAT. Presentation of the journal ranked by the High Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education (HCERES): https://www.unilim.fr/interfaces-numeriques/
Indexed at the DOAJ : 2258-7942 (Print) / 2259-1001 (Online)