To call upon materiality in feminist technoscience is to call upon a rich history of engagement with the matter. I do not evoke the body uncritically. It is important to bear in mind the prevalence with which biological determinism, the matter of the body, has been used as a tool of domination. As Sara Ahmed asserts,
there is no doubt that biology can be used to present social relations as products of nature not only within science, but also within the government and public culture given the associations the word 'biology' has with what is given or already decided. (Ahmed 2008, 28) But this is not necessarily to reject the biological or material body, but rather, to reject an account of it that is fixed and ahistorical. Barad, similarly, argues for an account of matter and materiality that are
granted their own agency and historicity. (Barad 2003, 801) Rather than reasserting a binarism between matter and culture, I wish to look towards the implications that come from the cross pollination between the two. The birth of the internet, and the computers that we use to access it, are certainly culturally produced but simultaneously they are also in the process of changing our very physiological constitution. Similarly, the body and its
material-semiotic structure, is intrinsic in the very way we have constructed these devices. (Haraway 1997, 190)
(Blue light patterns from my phone keep me up at night and wake me up early, a glowing behind the eyes, but my phone fits so perfectly in the palm of my hand)
These implicating forces shift each other and converge, so what the very notions of the biological and the cultural, matter and image, might become indistinct from one another. For Ahmed, this is where the field of new materialism has greatest power, at the point where it
emphasises precisely the entanglements and traffic between nature/biology/culture and between materiality and signification. (Ahmed 2008, 35) This is to allow nature and materiality to be dynamic and to recognise that they are changing and have changed: it is to allow matter itself to have a history.