The technological invisible — image making and dynamics of power

In this paper we explore the dynamics of power involved in the representation of digital devices. We reflect on a series of images produced by Amazon and Apple and suggest that their role as instruments of power is not defined by the companies’ financial might. We argue that these images are bound in a matrix, the locus of which resides in the representation of the <i>technological invisible</i>, elements of technology that are supra-sensible such as software, data, and wireless infrastructure. We use a research through design approach to analyse how representing invisible aspects of technology involves a series of decisions, through which agendas are embedded to influence the way we imagine the technology to operate and integrate in daily lives. We suggest that these dynamics are not the preserve of traditionally powerful actors, but that can be used by designers to reimagine technology.

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CC BY 4.0