Technology is often taken to refer to computers, IT, electronics, bio-technology...in short, hi-tech, the stuff that is conspicuous, new, dazzling. But what about lowtech? Writing, fire, textiles, plumbing...technology is in fact everywhere in our lives, and without it it is doubtful whether we could call ourselves human.
Philosophically, technology might be defined as something external to ourselves that enables us to act on the world; it is an object that has become a means, as it allows us to act on other objects. Or perhaps we should say that is a definition of 'tools', and technology is the knowledge of tools.
But technology is not always purely external; it often crosses the space between inside and out. It is something we acquire from outside, but make our own. Language, for example, is a form of technology. The Russian psychologist Lev Vygotskii developed the concept of 'psychological tools'. Logic is a kind of technology - it has to be learned, and historically it is not common to all cultures. So technology is not just intrumental, it also determines who we are.
Even the body can be described as a form of technology. Watch a small child trying to perform a simple manual task. Often they seem clumsy, as if they have not yet learnt how to use their bodies, as if they confront their bodies as something new and external to themselves. This external aspect of the body is highlighted by advancements in modern medicine, where there is an increasing array of artefacts - manmade objects - that are interchangeable with parts of the body.
Life 2.0 offers a space for writers to explore technology through words, but also the technology of words. Some do this in the content of their work, others through multimedia performance, where lowtech words appear in the context of more conspicuous visual and audio technologies.