Scale and Sexuation

Towards a Multi-Scalar (Techno)Feminism

Author(s)

  • Luara Karlson-Carp University of Melbourne
  • Geoffrey Hondroudakis University of Melbourne

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.54195/technophany.13805

Keywords:

Sexual difference, scale, irigaray, simondon, technofeminism

Abstract

Technofeminism has long known that it must be a multi-scalar feminism, that is, able to think, encounter, and negotiate these increasing scales of complexity that comprise our world, from the pharmacological to the planetary-computational. We read technofeminism as constitutively defined by its commitment to both realism and anti-essentialism, and contemporary technofeminisms to be epitomised by, on the one hand, the flat vitalist ontology of new materialism, and on the other, the trans-scalar rationalism of Xenofeminism. By examining these contemporary technofeminisms through contemporary theorisations of the concept of scale, we show that they have a problem with what the latter identify as ‘scalar collapse’; these technofeminisms conceptualise the multi-scalarity of reality, in the last instance, via a collapse into either the ‘master scale’ of new materialist ‘matter’, or via the ‘trans-scalar zoom’ of Xenofeminist rationalism. As such, they recoil from the reality of scalar differences, undermining their commitment to realism (and therefore technics), as well as reducing scalar difference to one unitary, ‘metaphysical’ ground, placing them back within an essentialist collapse. Through examining contemporary theorisations of scale, we claim that in order to avoid such scalar collapse, any truly multi-scalar theory must think difference as both ontogenetic, in the Simondonian sense, and irreducibly at-least-two, in the sense of Irigaray’s concept of sexuate difference. Against any concerns that Irigaray’s notion of sexuate difference may be essentialist or determinist, we show that the ontogenetic character of this difference means it is irreducible and yet also open-ended, that is, open to multiply complex, topologically scalar transformations throughout subsequent individuations. It is this thinking of difference as this ontogenetic ‘at least two’ that can enable contemporary technofeminisms to be truly multi-scalar feminisms.

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Published

2024-01-05

Issue

Section

Technē and Feminism: Articles (edited by Katarina Kolozova and Vera Bühlmann)

How to Cite

“Scale and Sexuation: Towards a Multi-Scalar (Techno)Feminism”. 2024. Technophany, A Journal for Philosophy and Technology 2 (1): 1-42. https://doi.org/10.54195/technophany.13805.