Expanding mediation theory

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In his article In Between Us, Yoni van den Eede expands existing theories of mediation into the realm of the social and the political, focusing on the notions of opacity and transparency. His approach is rich and promising, but two pitfalls should be avoided. First, his concept of ‘in-between’ runs the risk to conceptualize mediation as a process ‘between’ pre-given entities. On the basis of current work in postphenomenology and actor-network theory, though, mediation should rather be seen as the origin of entities, not as an intermediary between them. Second, Van den Eede’s separate discussion of transparency and opacity in ‘use’ and in ‘context’ runs the risk to make invisible the complementarity of the two dimensions. While transparency of use embodies an experiential form of the distinction between transparency and opacity, transparency of context embodies a more cognitive dimension of the distinction. Only by linking the two it becomes possible to take responsibility for the impact that technological mediations can have. Users and designers need a ‘double vision’ to simultaneously see the transparency of both use and context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-395
Number of pages5
JournalFoundations of science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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