Contingency and Plasticity in Everyday Technologies

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Technology is a host of social, material, and epistemic transformation techniques, tools, and methods. The common perception of digital technology today is that it is determined, even over-determined. This volume suggests a different view: the digital is indeterminate. Mobilising insights from philosophy, art and architecture theory, mathematics, computer science and anthropology, it situates digital indeterminacy within the wider context of material and immaterial processes, causations, triggerings, modes of unintended conditioning, and their performative working.

Part I, Social-Digital Technologies juxtaposes arguments for machinic/algorithmic indeterminacy to those of (over)determination in blockchain, cognitive augmentation, and digital ideology. Part II Spatial, Temporal, Aural and Visual Technologies delves deeper into received ideas about non-digital technologies such as those used for building spatial structures, manufacturing instruments and constructing the visual space. Part III Epistemic Technologies analyses the use of plasticity in cognitive science, contingency in thinking habits, ontogenesis in experimental computing, and divination techniques with an inbuilt margin of indeterminacy. The book’s tripartite structure reflects technology’s inherent capacity to transform knowledges, practices, and ‘the past’.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
PublisherRowman & Littlefield International
Number of pages336
ISBN (Electronic)9781538171592
ISBN (Print)9781538171578
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2022

Publication series

NameMedia Philosophy
PublisherRowman and Littlefield


  • Philosophy of Technology
  • Contingency
  • Plasticity
  • Media Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Art Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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