A pandemic changes everything. The time it shapes becomes exceptional, and in exceptional times things tend to happen that might not have happened otherwise. Technology is always about trade-offs and desires. Technologies of Hope & Fear is a project documenting a selection of the hundreds of supposed technological solutions to the pandemic and its consequences. In this talk, we will reveal 10 inspiring ways to think about techno-solutionism, because we need to be inventive and creative about how we look at and decipher what is often presented as the thing that will solve something else... Are pandemic technologies about controlling the virus, or are they about controlling the host?
This workshop explores how technologies promoted to mitigate and respond to the pandemic across a wide range of sectors and circumstances also serve to observe, sense, control and attempt to modify human behaviour and the spaces in which we move. Recognizing technologies as both problem-solving and problem-making, the project explores these trade-offs: safety versus surveillance, care versus control, fear versus freedom.