Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga (Science, Technology, and Society, MIT)
Prophylactic Mobilities & Immobilizations
The central question of the talk is: "Under what circumstances do mobilities and immobilizations become prophylaxes?" Its focus is not restricted to the ways in which humans deploy mobility and immobility as weaponry to purvey or interrupt noxious transfers by humans, but also extends towards the deployment of technologies that purvey and intercept, and indeed prophylactics against nonhuman species like plants and animals both micro and macroscopic. At the present moment, the state of my research allows for provisional notes on technological and organic bodies, but the ambition, as the project goes towards completion, is to consider the interruption and promotion of flows and seepages; of liquid, gaseous and solid matter; of sound, light and the visual; of senses of touch and smell; and implications of emotion on e-motion as the uptake of new technologies of mobility grows (including the continuities and changes historically). While starting from a human-centric position, this is one of many starting options; in other work I start from the nonhuman as a way of showing the way other species deploy mobility and immobility as defensive mechanisms against movements detrimental to their existences. Hopefully, this may lead towards a theorization of mobility and inertia.