Tatiana Goryucheva
Imagining democratic technology before its production: the case of food traceability.

Taken in a multiple discursive perspective, "food traceability" is an assemblage of practices, multidisciplinary knowledge, economic incentives, ethical concerns, political agendaŹ¼s, and not least a matter of growing public anxiety, particularly regarding health and safety issues. On the surface they are bound by a seemingly straightforward practical question: how to design an efficient solution for providing people with the reliable information about the food history, from its origin to the consumer table? Underneath it one
finds a complex of related and not directly related realities of diverse actors with their distinct rationales and motivations: farmers, traders, agricultural industries, retailers chains, financial institutions, academia, ICT companies, governmental authorities, activists
and at the end of the chain individual consumers with the hardly fully graspable diversity of our preferences and considerations. The more diverse groups and individuals begin to play a significant role in the information politics of the food market at a global scale, especially with the help of social media, the more dependent the food industry becomes on peoples knowledge about the products. In order to capture the critical aspects of relationships between an objectified in a technological form issue "food traceability" and the social process in the course of its production, I will review some ideas about technology in respect to the idea of democracy, and then look into perspective of developments and implementation of the food traceability under the condition of globalization.

Tatiana Goryucheva is a theorist, curator and lecturer based in Amsterdam. In her recent research and projects she has been exploring themes of politics of technological design, culture of democracy and social engagement with technology. Her latest projects include: "ElectroSmog" International Festival for Sustainable Immobility, panel "Food and Global Mobility"; the experimental participatory media platforms "Cool Mediators" and "Cool Media Hot Talk Show".