“Technological rationality reveals its political character as it becomes the great vehicle of better domination, creating a truely totalitarian universe in which society and nature, mind and body are kept in a state of permanent mobilization for the defense of this universe” (Marcuse, 1964).
The concept of the public and intellectual discourse is under attack and is being replaced by the motives and permutations of a pervasive spirit contouring not only the making of culture but also the standardization of work, education, thought, and action—a condition that Henry Giroux calls the ‘swindle of fulfillment’. This mutability, indicative of our captivity by the technological, is a subject of immediate relevance and importance.
Our indivisible configuration with the technological is transforming the way we understand ourselves and our place in the world. Recognizing the embedded global architecture of computer mediation, technological systems of exploitation, and the underlying role of the consumer-spectator compels one to reflect on the integration, interdependence, and dynamism of our relationship with it—a phenomena that inflects our everyday and shapes our contemporary human experience.
Trevor Embury’s research and body of work facilitate investigations into the political project of design and its entanglement within a techno-social system. Specifically, how design, as a mode of organization, constructs and reinforces forms of power and control through strategic mechanisms of visual representation, language, and participation in the broader context of how the political is entangled with the material and how the technological, as a mode of production, intersects, instrumentalizes, circulates, and sustains these transactions.
His work aims to problematize, speculate, and visualize notions of agency, mediation, instrumentalism, participation, and knowledge in an effort to reflect on and evaluate how these relationships effect social structures, ecological systems, and ultimately, the human condition—we in the essence of technology. His work includes printed matter, photography, writing, video, and site-specific installations and should be regarded as a means rather than an end providing no solutions or answers but new perspectives and whereby design may be recognized as a form of critical inquiry.
His practice is situated within the domain of inquiry-led creation—connecting artistic and academic discourse through scholarly examination, visual experimentation, and critical reflection. His methods and perspectives engage critical discourse in fields ranging from cultural studies to information science rendered through the lens of graphic design.