Biopolitics and Self-Governance

31 – “The Premise of Recombinant Architecture” – B. Bratton

Bratton discuss an exciting and dangerous concept that is Recombinant Architecture. I cannot help thinking this biotechnological architecture will create a peculiar interaction relationship between architecture and human, which can rapidly improve out living environment and also can destroy our life at the same time, because the bionic technology can lost control with the aggression by virus.
The author presents three interrelated forms for recombination: the image of genetic biomorphic corporeality, the deliberate fashioning of recombinant bodily forms and the application artificial biomaterials. Those are “from bodies to buildings and back again” (Pg. 94).  The body and architecture have more common ground than difference in my view. For example, “The house skin reacts to and anticipates sunlight and environmental variables according to data received and adjusts itself accordingly” (Pg. 98). The house body modulates its temperature as human skin. The only difference is that the former is artificial and the latter is natural. Bodies and building can convert each other. This technology will improve human’s life and provide the service as the natural organism. However, the ethical issues arise with cloning human apparatus. And there is high hidden trouble threaten our life as I mentioned the aggression by virus. We can imagine we cannot breathe when the doors and window are shut and the ventilation system turn off, which are caused by computer virus.

The bionic technology can radically shift in our body, family, city and environment, however, we have to solve the ethical and technology issues to avoid human destroy themselves.

1. Does the technology improve our life or destroy our life?
2. What is the base line of biotechnological development?



30 – “Once More, With Intensity” – J. Nealon

In this article, the author primarily expounded the intensification of power change. “Change, then, is a matter of slow mutations, accretions, and accumulations of social practice” (Pg.38). It interprets that intensity is the power that drives change.

Jeffrey Nealon revealed the conception that power shift. The social and economic changes are a slow process and those historical changes generally would not take place unless they arrive to a tipping point. There is an example explain this phenomenon. “At 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s simply hot water; intensified to 212 degrees, it’s boiling water” (Pg.38). It illuminate a truth that object or subject mutates into another form, which need to accumulate and accelerate in a period. On the other hand, Foucault pictures the power shift through sexuality. For example, homosexual happens through the slow intensification of existing practices and redefines the practice. It is the effect of this slow transformation.

Foucault appraises that biopower is the intensification of sexuality. Biopower is an even more intense and saturated form of power. Biopower does not simply include or exclude individuals based on norms. However, whose norm is something right or wrong? As the example of sexuality, “not everybody has a shared institutional or disciplinary identity, but everyone does have something like a sexuality” (Pg.46). Biopower did not exclude sexuality, but included it in the body as a mode of specification.

1) What is the relationship between the biopower and architecture form?
2) Is the intensity of power a norm of contemporary tide?


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