Beyond Techno-Orientalism: An Interview with Logic Magazine’s Xiaowei R Wang

Josh Feola:

Though they’ve spent the last few years focusing on the intersection between agriculture and technology, Xiaowei R Wang‘s resume of working with tech in China is long and varied. Many of the projects they’ve been involved with are process-oriented and community-based, such FLOAT, an interactive design project that sent Arduino-linked air-quality-sensing kites up in public parks around China, and LOOP, a user-generated community radio that popped up in Beijing for the 2015 JUE Festival.

The latest one-word project Xiaowei’s become involved with is Logic, a technology magazine initiated in 2016. Xiaowei was drafted from the project’s beginning as Creative Director, and has just put together a full issue on China for the magazine’s 7th issue, out now. Logic‘s China issue tackles trending topics (censorship, surveillance, social credit) and less covered facets of technology in China (rural-urban divide in internet use, changing government attitudes towards online freedom) in equal measure, commissioned and shaped by Wang to “present a rounder, more nuanced picture of the tech landscape in China today.”

I sat down with Xiaowei to discuss the driving logic behind this issue of Logic, and where they hope it falls along “China watcher”/”tech watcher” divide: