By Kirsten Hastrup, Professor of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen
Technology is high on the anthropological agenda. Anthropology itself emerged along with the modernist moment around 1900, riding on a wave of new technologies of transport, communication, and recording. The question addressed in this presentation is how anthropology may contribute to a rethinking of technology as an ingrained part of the engineering of collectives at multiple scales.
This will be discussed through a case from the High Arctic, showing the indeterminate nature of technology. The first section unpacks the engineering of landscapes by animal and human agents carving out new terrains. The second section addresses the engineering of relations through materials made available by shifting natures. The third section deals with the engineering of futures, through legal technologies and other imaginaries that give vent to a new sense of progress. The general ambition is to challenge received notions of technology as separate from sociality.