Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Doors of Perception

There's always something interesting in the monthly Doors of Perception Report:

"Upon arriving in Delhi, Garrick Jones told me how intrigued he had been by the Duchamp-related theme of Doors 8. Marcel Duchamp's concept of 'infra-thin' - an 'invisible and intangible separation between two things, a space in which the possible impies the becoming' - struck him as highly appropriate. I was forced, at this point, to confess to Garrick that the Duchamp reference was new to me."

"By what right do we swan around a city capturing information about peoples lives? If we are to exchange value - rather than just take it, or act like cultural tourists - what do we have to offer? ... Nandi was critical of the 'dive bombing' method in which people land in places cold, and start filming things that they see, but have no way of understanding. Jogi Panghaal countered that fresh eyes can reveal hidden value and thus mobilise neglected local resources. Visiting designers can act like mirrors, reflecting things about a situation that local people no longer notice or value. Shamefully, too many visiting designers promise local people they will do this, but never get around to sharing their conclusions and documentation."

"One takeaway from Doors 8 was an understanding that enabling platforms for social innovation need to meet three criteria: they should creatively engage the people they are intended for; they should help people to evaluate the new against the old; and they should help local people retain control over their own resources."

And where hackability plays to some, re-mix plays to others:

"One 'Aha!' moment in Delhi was the realisation that re-mix is not just about new music and vj-ing. Re:mix also signals a broader cultural shift away from the preoccupation with individual authorship that has rendered art (and management) so tiresome in recent times. In architecture circles, the concept of 'recombinant design' has been doing the rounds - but re-mix, as flagged by Joi Ito, is a better word."

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