This site provides an overview of my past, present, and future research projects, writings, and teaching resources. Currently, my projects can be roped together under the auspices of "Techno-Cultural Studies," a cross-disciplinary field of study that I propose to explore philosophical and historical questions about contemporary technological cultures. Techno-Cultural Studies partially branches out from Media Studies and integrates methods and theories from Cultural Studies and Science and Technology Studies (STS) to grapple with material and cultural facets of media, which are at once "Technology" and "Cultural Form."
geography of Media
In my thinking about media, in a form of information and technology, I place a special emphasis on the questions of "where" with regard to the practices, institutions, and infrastructures that surround them. Media do not exist in isolation. They arise out of complex relationships among different people with different needs and interests that are specific to the location. For a comprehensive understanding of any media, I always ask the following questions: Where do the materials and labor to build them come from? Where do they end up after they become obsolete? What kinds of social needs specific to the location are being addressed with the adoption of the media? How do media integrate into and transform the existing landscape of media? These questions concerning locality and geography, coupled with an ethnographic approach, aim to problematize the supposed "universal" applicability of technical designs and prototypes and to shed light on contingent and grounded occurrences of media.
history of the present
Following the questions about the location and geography of media, I emphasize the need to inquire about a "long history of media," which goes beyond assembling historical facts about media (what year a company was founded or when a policy was implemented). Instead, I am interested in asking broader questions about how the past persists in the present (e.g., retro media) and how the present, unknowingly or intentionally, draws upon the past (e.g., remediation, statistics). I often use the term "genealogy," a historical-philosophical critique in the form of a history of the present, as a way of producing knowledge that captures multiple threads of history that are mobilized co-constitute the present as we know it. This genealogical approach helps us establish a view of the present that is historically composed and to open up space for critically thinking about the continuity and ruptures in the history often narrated as a series of technological progress.
power and governmentality
My research is driven by the aim to address how power operates through media and their relationships with narratives, practices, technologies, and infrastructures. Following the questions about geography and history of media, the question of power and governmentality is specifically concerned not only with how differences in our society are generated, legitimated, and naturalized but with how media are deeply embedded in specific ways in which we conduct and operate ourselves (e.g., certificates, self-tracking technologies). Following Foucault, my analysis of power and politics of technology focuses on the historical and institutional conditions within which techniques and practices of self-governing (autonomy) are organized in a specific technological, geographical, and historical terrain. In addition to tracing these conditions, my research addresses how these techniques and practices are corollaries to a "regime of mentality" that underlies our aspirations, anxieties, and desire to protect, care for, and improve ourselves.