Diffracting the rays of technoscience: a situated critique of representation

Poiesis and Praxis 8 (2-3):151-167 (2011)
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This essay focuses on the possibility of adopting a representational approach for technoscience, in which representation is considered as a situated process of dynamic “intra-action” (Barad 2007 ). Re-elaborating the recent critiques of representationalism (Thrift 2008 ), my analysis begins by analysing Hayles’s situated model of representation from an early essay where she explains her definition of constrained constructivism (Hayles [ 1991 ] 1997). The essay then discusses the notions of figuration and diffraction and the way they are employed by Haraway in many of her writings for her critique of technoscience (Haraway 1991 , 1997 ). Finally, after considering diffraction through Barad’s reading of this practice in the context of her theory of agential realism ( 2007 ), it shows the links that relate constrained constructivism, situated knowledge and agential realism, and the way all of them work at “diffract[ing] the rays of technoscience” (Haraway 1997 : 16) through an alternative representational practice
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