Bodies, Mood and Excess. Relationship Tracking and the Technicity of Intimacy
Author(s): Lambert, Alex
A range of commercial mobile technologies are emerging which use psychophysiological sensors to monitor bodies and behaviour to produce new forms of knowledge about social relationships. In this paper I am concerned with how this kind of relationship-tracking influences intimacy. I am specifically interested in what I call the “technicity of intimacy”, the cultural techniques which emerge through the historically contingent technologisation of intimacy. Based on archival research, I argue that relationship-tracking promises to take up the intensive social labours associated with contemporary intimacy. Yet, the psychophysiological measurements these technologies rely on produce partial and ambiguous indicators of intimate life, gesturing toward an excess of intimate meaning that cannot be interrogated. The self-reflexive concern with this excess drives further tracking experiments and techniques. Yet intimacy remains a continuous mystery, and this problematises the value of self-tracking as a system dedicated to achieving meaningful selfknowledge and completeness.
Lambert, Alex: Bodies, Mood and Excess. Relationship Tracking and the Technicity of Intimacy. In: Digital Culture & Society, Jg. 2 (2016), Nr. 1, S. 71–88. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25969/mediarep/852.
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