Sylke Rene Meyer

Low Tech and Lo-Fi–Resisting a Discourse of Mastery

Presented at zfiction.21 at the ZhdK in Zuerich, Switzerland, on June 29, 2021.


Advancements in technology are often perceived as drivers for social progress. At the same time, technology frequently enables a minority to wield power over non-Western, non-white, and non-heteronormative masculine communities that have only limited access to advanced technologies. The–in François Lyotard’s term–phallocracy of high tech disenfranchises most of the world’s population while putting forth an ideology of superiority. Under the pretense of data neutrality, superior intelligence, and high-tech mastery, this ideology prevents ‘other’ voices from being heard. As a potential antidote, I suggest a user-centric and lo-fi approach towards a mastery of sharing focusing on three qualities: one, the mastery of sharing of space in border zones, the mastery of sharing of dissenting ideas through in a low-fi environment, and the mastery of sharing of the task through collaboration. The narrative forms produced in a low-fi environment shall be perceived as temporal perfections. Low-fi is participatory, fast, and allows for unalienated creation. It is participatory by avoiding the intimidation of high tech and expert cultures, as well as the economic restriction of access to expensive technology. It is fast by allowing for a rapid creative response to social contradictions of the moment. It is unalienated because it enables the creator(s) to understand and perform each step of the production process. Free from isolating divisions of labor and the fragmentation of the creative process in hierarchical production, low-tech/low-fi cultures offer a practice of collaborative and participatory approaches.


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