Research Seminar October 31st: Claude Rosental (CNRS/CRFJ) What Can We Learn From Observing Technological Fairs?
Monday, 31/10/2022, 18:00, Gilman 449
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique /
Centre de Recherche Français a Jerusalem
What Can We Learn from Observing Technological Fairs?
The Case of an Israeli High-Tech Event
I will analyze the activities and interactions that took place during a high-tech conference recently held in Israel, based on ethnographical observations I carried out on site. I will show how this high-tech event led to a massive production of public demonstrations – including public demonstrations of technology or “demos” – which served various aims. I will unveil some of the material, organizational and cognitive aspects of this demonstrative “festival.” I will thus illustrate the ways in which demos and a techno-rhetoric may help support technological promises, contribute to the marketing of technologies, and participate to economic life. I will show how demos can offer a solutionist view of the world structured by solutions - especially technological solutions - brought to problems made public on demonstrative sites. Thereby, I will explore one important component of what I call a “demonstration society” (C. Rosental, The Demonstration Society, MIT Press, 2021), related to the very large set of high-tech conferences and fairs organized around the world every year.