Contactlessness – architecture – e-flux


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The COVID-19 epidemic has led to massive social movements in the direction of an unintentionally responsible separation from each other

Bioethicists consider each person as susceptible or risky source of.It’s not a bad idea however, the wrong conclusions can be derived from it.The model of the epidemiological society does not depict us as distinct and isolated beings, but instead as part of a large variety.(In contrast, most digital platforms depict society as distinct and unidirectional individuals, which are later linked through other networks.)Looking at post-pandemic politics, the problem of over-individualization becomes within the systems with which we model ourselves Exacerbated by physical isolation, each of us experiences extended rhythms of lockdown.This has created new social and cultural realities and many of them are uncomfortable and unfamiliar including the dance of social distancing, and the language ofcontactlessness..

If we are all not allowed to touch what, then how can a fresh sensation of our biopolitical interdependence develop?It could be a result of realizing that social well-being is not only a personal individual, intimate, and skin-to skin experience, but rather something that occurs remotely, via unpersonal systems that all of us depend on.They are also social interactions.Technology-mediated interaction among us constitutes a guiding principle and not a secondary issue.The bonds that unite us is not limited to direct experience. They can be observed in the way we construct systems for people we don’t meet.In this manner, too perception and sensitivity are in sync.

There is then a connection between the over-individualization of social modeling and the insistence that direct and “unmediated” contacts are not only preferable to long-distance relationships, but that they are authentic in a way that mediated social relationships can never be.This is not just an incorrect understanding of what touch is, but also an attempt to deny the social nature of the connections we share as part of our common biological and technological universe.This is a belief that takes away attention from interaction between us in favour of privateized experiences in communication.

The issue isn’t necessarily a matter of prioritizing intimacy over isolation however, it is rather disqualifyingdistant relationships fromthe social health needs.This creates a distrust of the models in themselves since their abstractions are not able to be the sole supposedly important aspects that are phenomenological, not epidemiological.This isn’t just a matter of defending anti-intellectualism from aesthetic hyperinflation, it is a particular and costly method of resisting the effects of a biotechnological real.So, in relation to the perception layer as a whole, a constructive biopolitics should break down the dichotomy of the infrastructural and interpersonal forms of perception.Instead, we must think of them as mutually reinforcing.

A. Cameroonian philosopher Achille Mbembe and myself arrive at various however not necessarily unsolvable conclusion about how the calculations at the level of the planet help to support the idea of rationality and a viable planetarity.However, what is it that makes the privatization of experience-based subjectivity so problematic for this particular project, we are in agreement with him when he writes:

What’s interesting … are the change in the direction of an ideology of reason to one of experiences …According to many individuals, personal experience is now the only way to be at home within the global community.It’s similar to the bubble which keeps the foam away.In the present, experience has a greater influence than rationality … It is as if we consider that sensitivity, emotions feelings, emotions, sensations, and feelings are the actual substance of subjectiveness and, consequently, that they are the source of agency.However, in the modern era of paranoia it is a perfect match to the predominant rigor of Neoliberal individualism.

I’d like to elaborate the notion of a private subjectivity as well as the hyper-interiorized individuation that comes with it are dependent on a belief in the validity and power of emotion.This includes the belief that a particular personal narrative of the world may be supreme over the harsh reality of the earth and its uninteresting biochemistry.It’s the “culture” that has led to the “culture conflict”.It is not just a part of the psychological aspect of the pandemic, but it also defines the rise of populism, which is still as the ruling party and seriously mismanaged the responses towards the outbreak.

In his essay in his book “Touch contact and Non-Contact” Jean-Luc Nancy explains that every touch is in the end and in the end, non-contact. contact is the foundation of our relationship.As we watch an array of hundreds of people at a conference where images and voices of faces are certain to be intouchingWith all our eyes and ears, he demonstrates that even the most intimate interactions are communicated via images and sounds and body fluids, machines membranes, prescribed behavior and other body fluids.Being aware of what can and should not be touched is a type of an embodied social intelligence.Certain forms of contact, for example, the taboo of “touching the death” or placing hands on the corpse of a loved one are all based on their own “biopolitical” reasoning by putting the prevention of spreading disease over personal expressions of grieving.The most important point to remember is that we’re constantly getting touched and touching therefore mediation is not an additional state of our being. itan integral part ofthe condition that defines our embodiment.

Instead of thinking of touching for whatthe act ofmediating and not meditating, we can see that, even if one sensation has greater visceral sensitivity than the next, there can be considered to be acontact from a distanceand at the distance, which isn’t unimportant, but is filled with mediation.The significance for the situation of the pandemic is placing medical care in the larger non-coherent social perceptual apparatus.The perceptual layer represents the way the social body in general interacts with itself and perceives itself, so that a more sophisticated form of touch, such as medical care, could be delivered.

The models generated by social sensing permit a general measurement of non-contact and touch as an issue of intimacy, but also intimacy in the shape of biopolitical self-composition.Masks, for instance is among the most intimate technology of non-contact.It’s not only an intrusion into one’s body, but also a collaboration technology that, via filtering, helps to mediate the proxemic connection with two to three people.Since we are constantly touched by our exhalations and exhalations, the mask creates the situation a common one.It blocks contact by purposefully taking away the space between us. That’s the reason we love each other.In simple terms the mask doesn’t function because we are concerned because filtering is not sensitive to ethics that affect us however it functions because it works.

A larger urban transformation is another form of collective technology that is taking place in line to the needs that are required by “contactlessness”.Urbanists, architects as well as interaction design experts are attempting to improve the post-pandemic urban design.While doing this we are amazed by the bottom-up design of interfaces that has transformed markets, restaurants and other public areas.To make them more accessible the designers have restricted their programming operations to an immunological interfaces with clean and unclean components perforations of plexiglass, and furnituremovedin microbarricades.

Redesigning these spaces to reflect the current contagion might be less about eliminating the issue of touch out of the equation, and more aboutacknowledgingit.It brings back the concept of touch in a direct and tangible way as a factor that has been present for a long time but was not recognized.The context of interaction and mediation between individuals and bodies to facilitate social interactions was largely absent when it came to handshakes that today appear to be inappropriate.When touch was not previously thought of as something that needed been consciously calibrated but that is not the case anymore.Theaccessibility in making contactWe are becoming acutely conscious of these encounters without contact and are putting together the skin and boundaries of the universe by gaining insights we thought we’d lost.


This excerpt is of Benjamin H. Bratton,Revenge of the Real: Politics for the Post-Pandemic World(Back, 2021).

positionsis an initiative that is independent by e-flux Architecture.


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