This project explores the role that new digital media and enhancement technologies play in blurring the biological demarcations traditionally employed to define the boundaries of political subjectivity and personhood.
I am particularly interested in how these technologies enable the delegation and materialization of ‘internal’ processes and capacities such as speech, intentionality or agency, onto different devices and techno-scientific systems, thereby giving rise to new ‘distributed forms of personhood’ which call into question traditional understanding of citizenship.
I have conducted research in this area through the study of Locked-in Syndrome patients, a rare neurological disorder that entails a nearly complete paralysis of all the voluntary muscles of the body. This research has focused on several cases in which patients were deprived of some of their political rights—specifically the right to vote— as a result of their physical disability. I have explored how these patients employed new digital media and enhancement technologies to regain their political rights as well as their intelligibility as legal and political subjects.
I am pursuing this line of research through a number of interrelated projects.
I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Cancún (México) as part of the Understanding the Dynamics of Urban Reconstruction and Flexibility research project, funded by the Future of Cities program at the Saïd Business School (Oxford University), which explored how the material fabric of the city shapes urban governance in the context of recurrent natural disasters.
I am also developing an empirical project exploring the ways in which urban infrastructures and media technologies can be productively employed to enable new forms of political action and citizenship in specific sites. For this project, I have been collaborating with the architectural firm Elii on a number of projects designed to enable new forms of political participation and citizenship through the integration of energy infrastructures into urban public spaces. The long-term aim of this project is to develop a wider investigation into the "ergonomics of public and political life", that is, into the various ways in which our bodies "fit" in the material and technological environments that we inhabit and about how this "fitting" shapes the quality of public and political life.
TECHNOLOGIES OF POLITICAL INTELLIGIBILITY
THE ERGONOMICS OF POLITICAL LIFE
Deptartment of Communication, UC San Diego
2011 Domínguez Rubio, F. Lezaun, J "Technology, legal knowledge and citizenship. On the care of Locked-in Syndrome Patients". In F. Domínguez Rubio & P. Baert (eds) The Politics of Knowledge, Routledge: London, pp. 58-78. Download it here
(Forthcoming) Córdoba Azcárate, M, Baptista, I. Domínguez Rubio, F. "Enclosures within Enclosures: Privatization Practices, Uneven Development and the Govenance of Hurricanes in Cancún". In City and Society
2013 Domínguez Rubio, F & Fogué, U. "Technifying the public and publicizing infrastructures: imagining a new urban political ecology through General Vara del Rey Square". International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Vol 37(3), pp. 1035-1052 Download Pre-Print Here
2012 Essay accompanying the exhbition , 'Paysage in Progres: JF-Kit House Domestic fitness. Tone up your body up and down!!- 08.06/23.09.2012 Civa Brussels. Available here