Lukáš Likavčan takes us on a rich and satisfying philosophical journey. From Agamben’s apparatus, through Hegel’s positive religion (in contemporary robes), on to its materialization in Graeber’s fetishes, the author reads the smart objects that are at the basis of the smart city paradigm as fetishes of sorts. In this perspective, it is necessary to redefine the autonomy of humans through an act of reverse prostheticization: what position should humans occupy in the technosphere? And what kind of relationships are emerging, or are being consolidated, between us (humans) and them (objects)? By accepting a collective vision of intelligence as a product of human and non-human data, it is possible to move away from the notion of fetish, towards an anti-narcissistic condition that sees humans as one of the entities having agency in a universe that has moved far beyond the phenomenological.
For the 2019 Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB), titled “Urban Interactions,” (21 December 2019-8 March 2020) ArchDaily is working with the curators of the “Eyes of the City” section to stimulate a discussion on how new technologies might impact architecture and urban life. The contribution below is part of a series of scientific essays selected through the “Eyes of the City” call for papers, launched in preparation of the exhibitions: international scholars were asked to send their reflection in reaction to the statement by the curators Carlo Ratti Associati, Politecnico di Torino and SCUT, which you can read here.