Allucquere Rosanne Stone’s (1996) The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age is a significant addition to the historical record, shedding light on the development of such important early digital havens as Atari Labs and CommuniTree, as well as (unintentionally) demonstrating the ephemeral nature of the current and cutting-edge — when it comes to technology, new products on the market are, in a sense, already “old.”
Desire and technology in the workplace: Exploration, reification & transgression (originally presented to the class on September 30, 2010)
Demonstrating uncommon insight for her time, Stone (1996) expounds on the novel affordances offered by computers:
Computers are arenas for social experience and dramatic interaction, a type of media more like public theater, and their output is used for qualitative interaction, dialogue, and conversation. Inside the little box are other people” (p. 16).
“Ubiquitous technology, which is definitive of the virtual age, is far more subtle. It doesn’t tell us anything. It rearranges our thinking apparatus so that different thinking just is” (p. 168).
Stone (1996) also examines the concept of multiplicity. She claims:
“The nets are spaces of transformation, identity factories in which bodies are meaning machines and transgender — identity as performance, as play, as wrench in the smooth gears of social apparatus of the social apparatus of vision — is the ground state” (pp. 180-181).
Contemporary actor/performance artist Sarah Jones embodies multiplicity in her appropriation of diverse characters within a one-woman show. Her performance demonstrates corporeally what the Internet can deliver virtually.