The term trans-industriality aims to capture a historical process associated
in particular with technological evolutions of the second half of the 20th century.
It characterises the movement as well as its accompanying representation and
invention, by which societies shift from an industrial mode of production, distribution
and consumption, to a post-industrial mode. The 1970s are often considered to
be the nexus through with the passage from a Fordist economy to a system of
flexible accumulation occurred. On the hand, the shift is connected to the decline
of the Western traditional industries and their replacement by a service-led
economy. It is exemplified by the increased importance taken by the financial
economic sector, the rise of the tourism and heritage industries, evanescence
of information fluxes. More broadly, it is connected to the acceleration of
time-space compression, the emergence of a fast-paced mode of globalisation.
Consequently, this phenomenon in conjunction with the expansion of capitalist
modes of economic transactions and political extensions, has brought a geographic
displacement of both industrial and post-industrial activities in the world.
New actors and forces have appeared, providing (and facilitating) the replacement
of disappearing Western industries, as well as plugging into the new industries,
those that superseded their ancestors in functional terms, and those that were
added to them on a new level of consumption productivity and desire. Furthermore,
in the Western paradigm whereby the conversion to post-industriality has been
hailed, remnants of the old economy are still surviving, or have equally been
replaced by new modes of production of the old industrial artefacts. Within
a global tendency aiming to convert societies to a flexible accumulation economy,
industrial and post-industrial production, distribution, and consumption, coexist.
Trans-industrial analysis focuses on this process of change and aims to further our understanding of the embededness of different evolving layers of industriality. Directly connected to the present where these evolutions find their ever unravelling updating, trans-industrial analysis looks at the history of technological change, in conjunction with the informing description of this process, and invention of this process. The change has been systematically (if certainly not of equally) represented, defined, and produced through the realms of artistic and philosophical enquiry. The past and ongoing cross-fertilisation of the trans-industrial process nurtures historical awareness as well as, ideally, contemporary political and critical mindedness.