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Issue 21

Medicine and the Body

Curating an issue on technologies of medicine and the body presented unique challenges due to the field’s extensive reliance on US military and Department of Defense funding. Bioethicists and AI researchers like Phil Agre have pointed out tech’s deep ties with military interests—providing a historical through line whose connections, implied and explicit, emerge throughout the pages that follow. Building on similar work from the 1980s, computational cognitive scientist Chris Dancy reflects on what it means to be a researcher in heavily militarized fields like neurotech and cognitive sciences, a context where a critique of medical technologies, and the industries that support them, is inseparable from that of the conditions of war and genocide. As a companion to our featured tech explainer by Andrea Stocco on biomedical engineering or the brain–computer interfaces, Dancy traces these connections to genocides crisscrossing the globe.

This issue was birthed while Columbia University, where Logic(s) is administratively housed within the Incite Institute, sicced the New York Police Department on pro-Palestinian protestors demanding the university divest from weapons development and Israel’s genocidal occupation. President Minouche Shafik’s decision to violently disperse the Gaza Solidarity Encampment on April 18 accelerated the timeline for the magazine to reckon with its own complicity with the university, with the goal of determining how, as a project that neither works with nor primarily serves students and faculty, we can strategically contribute to the demands for divestment. Following this editorial note is a press release detailing the concrete steps that Logic(s) and a series of aligned projects at the Incite Institute are taking to deprive the university of resources, and to work toward exiting the institution over the course of this year. Through a staff-wide town hall and other collective discussions, we’ve thought deeply about how we can meaningfully shift power, rather than just giving symbolic credence to a free Palestine. We invite comment from readers on this plan, but let us be unambiguous when we say that the Western academy, and Columbia University in particular, has blood on its hands: it has directly contributed to the violent dispossession of Palestinian people and the demonization of resistance. We stand with Palestine, a free Sudan, a free Democratic Republic of the Congo, a free Tigray and Oromia. We must free all oppressed and Indigenous peoples globally, and free our movements from the shallow politics of litany. Each of these regions and their associated movements for self-determination requires us to slow down enough to appreciate the specificities—including the way unity often serves as a cover for violence.

editorial

Letter from the Editor on Medicine and the Body in Tech

J. Khadijah Abdurahman, Sucheta Ghoshal

Editor in Chief J. Khadijah Abdurahman introduces Logic(s) issue 21

Logic(s) Enters The Collective at Incite

J. Khadijah Abdurahman

Editor in Chief J. Khadijah Abdurahman introduces The Collective, the new organizational configuration of Logic(s)

A Story of Resignation and Revival

michael falco-felderman

Personal narrative of michael falco-felderman, facilitator of The Collective, about their experiences and the future of their work on the The Collective

Introducing The Collective

A press release from Incite, introducing our new initiative called The Collective

listen&speak

View From the Nuba Mountains: An Interview with Kuna

“Previously, when I was outside of Sudan, I was very much like, “I’m just Sudanese.” But now, I find myself more and more—I don’t want to say less willing—but I will say I feel safer identifying as a Nuba.”

On Sudan and the Interminable Catastrophe: A Conversation with Bedour Alagraa

“In terms of genres of the human, I think that Sudan has a lot to tell the world about our assumptions about Man, because it’s a country that doesn’t have very many white people at all.”

Coming of Age during Wartime in Sudan: A Conversation with Omnia Mustafa

“When we are engaging with African people, they tell us, ‘You’re too Arab for us.’ And when we engage with Arab people, they tell us, ‘You’re too African for us.’”

#NoTechforICE x #NoTechforApartheid with Lau Barrios and Jacinta González

“War, policing, and deportation have been areas of the federal budget that just continue to grow. So there are thousands of tech companies trying to position themselves in a really lucrative industry.”

“This Whole Other Monster”: Resisting ICE’s “Alternatives to Detention” Program with Mario Perez

“Let’s call it for what it is: they’re not there to support you, they’re there to deport you.”

Designing Black Trans Revolution with Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley

“The problem with relying on the art world alone is, you will only show when someone offers you an exhibition—which means if no one’s asking you to show, you don’t do anything.”

Who Gets to Live Forever? with Tamara Kneese and Santiago Sanchez

“The entire fantasy of living for much longer only makes sense if you have that kind of extreme wealth or if you believe that you have the capacity to achieve it.”

On patient. with Bettina Judd

“I’m really self-aware at this point, in writing patient, that I am a researcher doing research in an attempt to recover that which cannot be recovered, and that is their voices.”

“To See it All at Once”: Black Southern Placemaking Technologies with Zandria Robinson

“I think that the Southern city, all Southern cities are places spatially, where you can see the collision of time, to the point where you’re like, ‘What time is it? What time am I in?’”

features

Genocidal Technologies: The Deprivation of Medicine in Tigray

Teklehaymanot G. Weldemichel

“The decimation of medicine and healthcare was a genocidal technology used to actualize as many deaths as possible—and one whose future deployment can by no means be ruled out.”

Beyond Trans Archives, Beyond Trans Medicine

Os Keyes

“Where does such profound love, overflowing with significance, appear in formalized, statistical data indexing and what people’s post-treatment lives mean to the world? What does it mean, to medical history or analysis, to begin with people’s relations rather than their records?”

Reclaiming the Viral Asian Body

Leo Kim

“The truth is that we, as actors both individual and collective, are fundamentally enmeshed in/with the world. Our technologies weave their ways into our minds and bodies.”

stories&poems

قبور وراء النافذة / “Graves behind the Window” معذبو الأرض / “The Wretched of the Earth”

Anees Ghanima, Abdalhadi Alijla, Leena Aboutaleb

A selection of poems by Gazan poet Anees Ghanima, Translator’s Note Leena Aboutaleb, and preface by Abdalhadi Alijla

Before We Were Born

Angela Liu

“Brain–body transfers (BBTs) became popular with influencers and celebrity couples first. The only way to truly understand someone is to become them, the ads read.”

“Etymology of Anarcha I” “Betsey Invents the Speculum”

Bettina Judd

A series of poems by Bettina Judd

Whispers of Vanished Childhood

Abdalhadi Alijla

“The deserted street felt like a canvas wiped clean, with only my mother and I left as the remaining strokes of a forsaken painting.”

dispatches

You’re Always on That Phone: How Being Online Sustained Sudan’s Youth Revolution 

Dinan Alasad

“The sit-in became a physical embodiment of the safe spaces we had only imagined could exist online. We congregated freely and spoke without bounds. We cared for each other in immediate ways.”

Curating Colonization: On Sharing Visuals of the Dead

William C. Anderson

“Using images to highlight the gruesome and merciless power of an oppressor does not necessarily generate sympathy for the oppressed; it can be a tool to reinforce the ruling order.”

Restraint

Clio Sady

“Where does the carceral state end and the welfare state begin?”

The Gig Is Up

Jane Chung

“The eight-hour workday was a hard-won victory by labor organizers of yesterday. Today, gig corporations are actively undermining those victories.”

Breaking the Cycle: Against the Militarization of Neuroscience Research

Christopher L. Dancy

“Adoption of a critical perspective on funding choices is possible—even for faculty previously connected to US military systems—but it is more labor intensive, entailing work that all too often lies outside of the research infrastructure universities provide.”

Tech Explainer: Brain–Computer Interfaces and Neural Prosthetics

Andrea Stocco

“The brain is the ultimate site of an individual’s identity, and implanted devices not only have access to it, but the potential to alter it.”

Against the Grain: Indian Telemedicine and Its Discontents

Sylvia Karpagam

“TELEMEDICINE IN INDIA REFLECTS LARGER GAPS WITHIN THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.”

First edition of Issue 21: Medicine and the Body expected to be released August 05, 2024.