technologies as convergence

Van Loon points out that, if technoscience is driven by a desire for the “colonization of the unknown,” it can only do so by

creating another remainder: this remainder is none other than an index, which defies visualization (Van Loon 2002, p. 108).

The technologies used are responsible too for confirming such reminder, by simultaneously revealing, and building distance from the virus. By staining, magnifying, visualizing viruses trough a microscope, we are attempting to understand the subject and, thus, to neutralize our fear of what such invisible agent is capable of doing. By passing the object through a microscope we get data which then are processed and visualized or animated thanks to software and hardware. Paradoxically, the very technologies that should reveal, by displaying viruses (thus contributing to eliminate the fear they cause) end up making them disappear under multiple layers of technology and interpretations. At the same time, this series of translations and technological layering are generators of creativity, as a  diverse range of techniques and methodologies are continuously added to achieve different goals: aesthetic, medical, plain scientific, or methods that are just abiding to conventions dictated by popular culture.  By continuously iterating the idea of knowledge as both boundary-crossing and boundary-building, these technologies simultaneously reflect and reinforce both anxieties and curiosity engendered by the invisible and the microscopic.


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