Interpreting Aspirational Forms: A Technography of 3d Printing

T.L. Hudson
This thesis examines the coinciding of human values and the affordances of technological material as an active form of directed evolution. Considering an entangled person and technology as an assemblage, the investigation responds to the question of technological choice as it refers to discrete moments of change: why is it that the assemblage orients toward a specific future way of being? This research demonstrates the choice is discernible as a chain of dependent moments which circumscribe
more » ... vation. Owing to its highly adaptable ontology as a relation between people and technology, the ethnographic fieldwork for this study involved interviewing hobbyists of 3d printing about their relationship with the platform technology. This work finds that the chain of dependent moments which minimally describe evolution for the person-printer assemblage can be organized as three successive coincidences: a predisposition prior to a new entanglement, a turn in which the person and printer are interactive, and an aspirational form which emerges with a discernible future orientation. As this study is reactive to larger discussions of global anxiety around human progress and the reality of the Anthropocene, I argue that theorists of progress should adopt a posthuman perspective which contends with the discursive relation between human values and material affordances as a superior descriptive heuristic than a focus on human choice alone.
doi:10.6082/uchicago.3116 fatcat:5ybrkl5mejfv5avjdgzr7kdnhm