Love and Other TechnologiesRetrofitting Eros for the Information Age

Love and Other TechnologiesRetrofitting Eros for the Information Age

Dominic Pettman

Print publication date: 2011

ISBN: 9780823226689

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Abstract

Can love really be considered another form of technology? This book says it can, although not before carefully redefining technology as a cultural challenge to what we mean by the “human” in the information age. Using the writings of such thinkers as Giorgio Agamben, Jean‐Luc Nancy, and Bernard Stiegler as a springboard, the book explores the “techtonic” movements of contemporary culture, specifically in relation to the language of eros. The highly ritualized expression of desire is love; in other words, love always reveals an era's attitude toward what it means to exist as a self among others. For this book, the articulation of love is a technique of belonging: a way of responding to the basic plurality of everyone's identity, a process that becomes increasingly complex as the forms of mediated communication, from cell phone and text messaging to the mass media, multiply and mesh together. Wresting the idea of love from the arthritic hands of Romanticism, the book demonstrates the ways in which this dynamic assemblage, “the stirrings of the soul”, has always been a matter of tools, devices, prosthetics, and media. Love is, after all, something we make. And, love, this book argues, is not eternal, but external.