Paul Rabinow and Gaymon Bennett Ars synthetica. Designs for Human Practice, Connexions, Rice University, Houston (TX), 2008, http://cnx.org/content/col10612/1.2/ (accessed 29 December 2009)
This is not an ethnography. We do not quite yet know what it is. Although the 12 modules that make up this on-line text comment on and describe themselves, they also convey something of the as yet wordless premonition that 25 years ago preceded the anthropological comprehension of the ‘postmodern’. I found it quite gripping, and almost impossible to re-describe.
In truth, an ethnographic response to the events related here was a temptation deliberately avoided. Rather, this text serves as a kind of second life to what happened; two of the participants textually re-enact what turned out to be a one-sided engagement. Rabinow, an experimenter with discourses of ethical practice, and Bennett, an observer of genomics practice and stem cell research, place themselves in alignment with a network of...
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