Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Mixed technologies

Dan draws out adaptive design as machinic and modular. The projects he mentions are certainly interesting, and I love Cedric Price's work, but in my heart and mind adaptive design involves way more curves and passion than machines and modules.

He also noticed the same NY Times article I did - Confounding Machines: How the Future Looked - but apparently saw more loveliness in its collection of historical quotes on new technologies than I did. In particular Dan cites the following vision which instills in me little but horror and dread.

Bruce Bliven, "The Ether Will Now Oblige," in The New Republic, 1922

"There will be only one orchestra left on earth, giving nightly worldwide concerts; when all universities will be combined into one super-institution, conducting courses by radio for students in Zanzibar, Kamchatka and Oskaloose; when, instead of newspapers, trained orators will dictate the news of the world day and night, and the bedtime story will be told every evening from Paris to the sleepy children of a weary world; when every person will be instantly accessible day or night to all the bores he knows, and will know them all: when the last vestiges of privacy, solitude and contemplation will have vanished into limbo."


And speaking of the New York Times, The Line Between Species Shifts, and a Show Explores the Move is definitely a keeper for my science & tech class. The article reviews the current Becoming Animal: Contemporary Art in the Animal Kingdom exhibit (scroll down a bit) at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and really focusses on the startling and unsettling aspects of hybridity. What's missing are the historical contexts of our mixing of cultures and technologies, and how inextricable they have always been from relations of power.

Also on the topic of new technologies:

Early Look at Research Project to Re-engineer the Internet

Computerizing the Campus Laundry (via)

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