[-empyre-] Option 7 = V for virus and other reruns

Ricardo Dominguez rrdominguez at ucsd.edu
Sun Nov 22 23:43:26 EST 2009


Hola all,

I would suggest all of these options at the same time (if at all possible).
But, sometimes these shifting grids allow for something else to occur
that is unexpected and as I suggest else where - we can use these
spaces or trajectories as "rehearsal-labs" that disturb multiple staging
zones: CALIT2, arts&humanities, activism(s), computing and the arts,
media studies, etc., - but then again I only been in the university as
a institution for a brief period of time - and the strange attractors might
be possible between speeding things up and slowing them down at the
the same time - so that hactivating design is a question of "designing"
time - via complex storytelling that unfolds/re-folds these gesture or
-abilites (of a Benjaminain sort) into option 7.

This is an old note from the seeds of time, that I still offers diagrams
towards
these questions:

(Timeline 1998):

A note was hand delivered to me during a gathering of Radical Media groups
in New York City at The Thing (a critical community server) by a network
that has been doing advance work on Zapatismo, digital activism, and html
democracies.

It was a note from the Lizard Queen:

 (Message 445-Ixil /encrypted in the usual manner-con amor.c)

 hola cyber/compadre,
 Fox is showing reruns of "V", that old Sci-Fi flick, again. We
 all sit in the cantina (and watch the only TV in the community:
 the women, the children, the men, and the drunks).

 The Lizard agents are trying to control the world and a few
 small groups form a global resistance movement. The movie
 shows the conflicts and tensions between the cells, the danger
 of staying aboveground, the endless struggle against the growing
 technoforce of the Lizard-Power structure. The Lizards are also
 harvesting the humans for snacks. This is not a movie says one
 of the kids - plenty of Lizards around here.

More:
http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=203



> Dear Kevin, Ricardo, Nick and Brooke,
>
> I think we are okay to talk about this stuff online.  I'm hoping those in
> Administrative posts will use our think tank as a way to enlighten
> themselves about other alternatives.  For me option 4 is mighty tempting
> but structurally within many Visual Arts departments seems impossible.
> Anyone else have any great ideas?  Renate
>
>
>
>> Glad to see the HCI discussion come up here, and in the context of
>> questions about Design in education. Perhaps I'm just pessimistic, but
>> I don't think we have long before today's "New Media" programs are
>> squeezed out of fine arts curricula by  HCI and its cousins in
>> Industrial Design and Graphic Design. HCI is hard to distinguish for
>> many an upper-level administrator from the Digital Media / New Media
>> programs born in the last ten years. The confusion is understandable
>> from a distance, as HCI borrows increasingly from New Media and
>> Computer Arts for methods, media, and even critical language - all to
>> the consumerist ends outlined by Nick.
>>
>> It's easy for students to distinguish between the two, however, given
>> the easy product tie-ins of HCI and other design education. Much
>> current design education is, as Nick implies, essentially an exercise
>> in meta-shopping. (Who's a better shopper than the one who hangs
>> around the factory line?) I fully expect that the sort of hires that
>> resulted in our current, even mildly-critical digital arts programs
>> will not come again, except perhaps for in the most elite and high-
>> price-tag programs of the world.
>>
>> So what are we to do, if we care about exercising a role as educators
>> and researchers beyond the provision of politicized recess for
>> students who won't need to work for a living after school?
>>
>> 1 - Make hay (or raise Cain?) while the sun shines - this seems to be
>> the bang.lab approach, as far as I can tell ( I can't imagine that
>> Calit2 will support these projects for long-term? If so, then great!)
>> T.A.Z., tactics over strategies, all that temporary stuff is always
>> possible, and maybe the only way. (I also think here of Wodizcko,
>> trained as an Industrial Designer, but taking Papandek's ideas and
>> moving right out of that field in the 60s/70s.)
>>
>> 2 - Prepare for the inevitable change in our institutional waters, by
>> acquainting ourselves with the methods of our future partners/bosses/
>> overlords, making ready to live in their world as critical members who
>> ask tough, informed questions.
>>
>> 3 - Identify our current work as "preservable," something to be
>> protected in the name of knowledge, like the older arts of traditional
>> glass and ceramics.
>>
>> 4 - Depart from the arts and sciences altogether, to identify
>> ourselves with media studies in the humanities. (Christiane, can you
>> speak to this option?) Bank on the whole "practice-based research"
>> trend, keeping a wary eye on the Social Sciences as possible,
>> occasional, collaborator.
>>
>> I'm trying a little bit of all these things myself, with increasing
>> hope for option #4. In addition to skepticism about the consumerist
>> ends of design and arts education, I'm also looking to steer clear of
>> the technocratic, ahistorical progress machine of modern science
>> (sustainability as economic catalyst).
>>
>> Any thoughts? Maybe a public listserv isn't the safest place to have
>> this conversation?
>>
>> Kevin Hamilton
>>
>>
>>
>> On Nov 20, 2009, at 2:38 PM, nicholas knouf wrote:
>>
>>> Brooke, Ricardo, and everyone,
>>>
>>> Thanks for your interesting points regarding notions of design,
>>> designing, and designers.  This has also been on my mind recently,
>>> especially as a result of my position within a traditional
>>> human-computer interaction program.  Here there is no questioning the
>>> role of the designer: the designer is to be subservient to the "needs"
>>> of the "user", where the user is defined as that constructed by
>>> corporations and the market.  Researchers actively seek out
>>> relationships with corporate sponsors and corporate research labs.
>>> As a
>>> result, there is no discussion regarding broader societal issues,
>>> excepting where they intersect with present corporate priorities, as
>>> in
>>> the rhetoric of "sustainability"---and of course there the limits of
>>> the
>>> conversation are already set, again by the market.
>>>
>>> This situation caused me to write a polemical paper for the main
>>> conference in HCI, ACM SIGCHI, called "HCI for the Real World"
>>> (http://zeitkunst.org/publications/hci-real-world).  In it, and this
>>> is
>>> the main point of my post, I draw heavily on on the work of Victor
>>> Papanek, an industrial designer who wrote, for me, a very influential
>>> book originally published in 1970 entitled _Design for the Real
>>> World_.
>>> He focuses on the role of the designer, not only in the composition of
>>> the products made, but prior to that, in the very selection of
>>> projects
>>> to work on:
>>>
>>> "...I must agree that the designer bears a responsibility for the way
>>> the products he designs are received at the market place. But this is
>>> still a narrow and parochial view. The designer’s responsibility
>>> must go
>>> far beyond these considerations. His social and moral judgment must be
>>> brought into place long before he begins to design, since he has to
>>> make
>>> a judgment, and a prior judgment at that, as to whether the products
>>> he
>>> is asked to design or redesign merit his attention at all. In other
>>> words, will his design be on the side of the social good or not" (66).
>>>
>>> This is one of the key, but unasked, questions within HCI.  There is a
>>> general agreement on the relationship of HCI to corporations, the
>>> market, and "users", yet there is no questioning of the very
>>> assumptions
>>> that underlie that agreement, and thus what are the important problems
>>> that students and faculty spend their time on.  Of course there are
>>> complicated interrelationships here between funding agencies,
>>> professional societies, methods of reward, the system of publication
>>> (in
>>> HCI, emphasis on yearly conference papers versus less-frequent, but
>>> more
>>> in-depth, journal articles or monographs), and so on.  Yet these are
>>> the
>>> very conditions that should be at the forefront of debate,
>>> especially in
>>> a "discipline" that is relatively young like HCI---but they are not.
>>>
>>> Returning to someone like Papanek, writing a similar polemic for
>>> industrial design and at the height of an earlier "ecological"
>>> movement,
>>> is key to foreground the continuities between different aspects of
>>> design, different time periods...and to suggest transdisciplinary
>>> connections.  Design can be more than ICT for development, more than
>>> "sustainable consumerism", but only if designers take responsibility
>>> for
>>> their choices of what to research and what to design (and where they
>>> can
>>> have a decent amount of control over that choice, such as in the
>>> academy), and if they instill in their students a similar ethic.
>>> Designers in academia would have to push against the notion that they
>>> have to teach their students "marketable skills".  (And, I would
>>> argue,
>>> that if the designers really wanted to teach skills that would improve
>>> the "bottom line" of companies they would allow for much more creative
>>> activity on the part of their student-designers, but that is the topic
>>> for a longer post on the interrelationship of interrelationship of
>>> contemporary "cognitive capitalism" and modern technological
>>> development.)  Undertaking projects such as Brooke's "hactivating
>>> design" and "undesigning" and Ricardo's "garageScience" opens up
>>> spaces
>>> to address these questions and suggest possible alternatives.
>>>
>>> Nevertheless, I want to additionally point to the ways in which
>>> Papanek's project is an explicit critique and condemnation of
>>> contemporary (both then and now) processes of consumerist capitalism.
>>> Thus this approach is not to encourage design to necessarily create
>>> new,
>>> more "hackable" "products", but rather to question the very system of
>>> consumption and the manufacture of desire that creates a system of
>>> "products".  This is the potentially radical implications of following
>>> in the wake of Papanek: of using design not to create a "more just"
>>> capitalism, but rather to create the conditions of possibility of real
>>> alternatives through an engagement and reconfiguration of our material
>>> world, of understanding how design methodology can construct different
>>> ontological realities (following the work of someone like John Law in
>>> _After Method_) with different political implications.
>>>
>>> nick
>>>
>>>
>>> Ricardo Dominguez wrote:
>>>> Hola all and Brooke,
>>>>
>>>> I really enjoyed "undesigning" poster Brooke and it would be really
>>>> great
>>>> to slip into classrooms from pre-k to post-grad spaces. (I will
>>>> work on
>>>> that.)
>>>>
>>>> I do think that the tactical re-engineering is an important gesture
>>>> and
>>>> one that has been important in my thinking since I first encountered
>>>> the community research initiatives that ACT UP/SF - Golden Gate
>>>> established
>>>> in late 80's as a response to the viral politics of therapeutic
>>>> state at
>>>> the time.
>>>> And by creating a "hactivating design" gesture of smashing popular
>>>> toothpaste with the politics of the question that can become viral
>>>> - which
>>>> at the core of its performative matrix is that anyone can do it.
>>>> Now that
>>>> I have a young son everything becomes amplified in terms of
>>>> toxicities at
>>>> all levels. We are encountering particle capitalism(s) clouds at
>>>> every
>>>> scale of being. Which, is an important theme for the *particle
>>>> group* as
>>>> well (http://pitmm.net).
>>>>
>>>> As, part of video mediation on Open Fabrication systems, the
>>>> attempted to
>>>> bring together EDT/*particle group* and the other gestures that
>>>> criss-crossed each other under the sign of “science of the oppressed”
>>>> (which I came to understand came from Monique Wittig – really
>>>> fantastico)
>>>> - here is a section of the text that I thought might fall into the
>>>> sphere
>>>> of “hactivating design”:
>>>>
>>>> [science of the oppressed and garageScience]
>>>>
>>>> We can imagine Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, Chela
>>>> Sandoval’s
>>>> Methodology of the Oppressed, Critical Art Ensemble’s tactical
>>>> science,
>>>> Natalie Jeremijenko public experiments and what the Electronic
>>>> Disturbance
>>>> Theater has framed today as the “science of the oppressed” – each
>>>> of these
>>>> parts of a wide area call for a re-framed relationalilty between
>>>> spectator, poesis, praxis, experimentation and Sandoval’s
>>>> differential
>>>> consciousness of the “la conciencia de la metiza”.  Each gesture
>>>> diagrams
>>>> alternative social forms of life and art that fall between the
>>>> known and
>>>> unknown, between fiction and the real, between clean science and
>>>> dirty
>>>> science – each a part of a long history of an epistemology of social
>>>> production which privileges the standpoint of the proletariat, the
>>>> multitude, the open hacks of the DIY moments, and of autonomous
>>>> investigators who stage test zones of cognitive styles-as/and out
>>>> of –
>>>> concrete practices as speculation and speculation as concrete
>>>> practices –
>>>> at the speed of dreams.
>>>>
>>>> What the artivist adds to this circuit is the ability to stage
>>>> potential
>>>> rehearsals for the now-and-future community laboratories, for the
>>>> nanoGarages to come, for the current empirical speculations of new
>>>> ecologies of social formations that can create a space for the
>>>> agency of
>>>> actor-spectators – that can route around the neoliberal walls of
>>>> “venture
>>>> science” as only protocol for “scientific” research and instead
>>>> offer a
>>>> counter-frame/unframe of a science for and by the people. As Boal
>>>> stated,
>>>> “we must move towards a rehearsal-theater and away from a
>>>> spectacle-theater.” The “science of the oppressed” for EDT is type of
>>>> “rehearsal-lab” that imagines community laboratories blooming from
>>>> the
>>>> always/already “lowrider” robotics of East L.A., from the Zapatista
>>>> “Open
>>>> Seed” an assemblage Open Wetware lab(s) – each garage a “rehearsal-
>>>> lab”
>>>> for new agency(s) defined by the people/the citizen/the nomad to
>>>> “resume
>>>> their protgonistic function” between/within/without art and science.
>>>>
>>>> The whole video is here:
>>>>
>>>> http://medialab-prado.es/article/nanogarajes_especulaciones_sobre_fabbing_abierto
>>>>
>>>> Also, some other thoughts on these themes by *particle group*'s
>>>> Nanosférica presentation:
>>>> http://hemisphericinstitute.org/hemi/en/particle-group-intro
>>>>
>>>> nano nano,
>>>> Ricardo
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> These are some of the specifics I am dealing with, but I am
>>>>> interested in
>>>>> this general premise: if design is about intention and if we want to
>>>>> create
>>>>> change through design then we have to design with a broader set of
>>>>> objectives in mind. Reverse engineering our everyday products is a
>>>>> good
>>>>> starting point. And when I rebuild with broader objectives as I
>>>>> define
>>>>> them,
>>>>> financial considerations are part of the equation but not top of
>>>>> the list
>>>>> or
>>>>> the lead imperative as with mega-corporations that are designing
>>>>> popular
>>>>> toothpastes.
>>>>>
>>>>> I came across this paper a few weeks back by Scott Burnham called
>>>>> "Finding
>>>>> the Truth in Systems: In Praise of Design Hacking" that is quite
>>>>> relevant
>>>>> to
>>>>> this discussion (http://scottburnham.com/?p=521).
>>>>>
>>>>> A brief sample from that paper:
>>>>>
>>>>>    * Hacking creates new engagements between the product and the
>>>>> consumer
>>>>>    * Hacking mandates relevance and necessity in design
>>>>>    * Hacking is resourceful
>>>>>    * Hacking creates abundance from limited resources
>>>>>    * Hacking finds the truth in systems
>>>>>
>>>>> And, I leave you with a short essay of mine (this is actually text
>>>>> from a
>>>>> poster you can download here: http://undesigning.org/cmos.html)
>>>>> for those
>>>>> who want to read more.
>>>>>
>>>>> Best, Brooke
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Our Chemically Modified Organisms (CMOs)
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Industrial chemistry is a 20th century phenomenon. During World
>>>>> War I,
>>>>> military demand for war gas was a great boon for the burgeoning
>>>>> industry.
>>>>> But, in 1925, with the signing of the Geneva Protocol that banned
>>>>> chemical
>>>>> warfare, industry had to look for other markets. The production of
>>>>> nerve
>>>>> gas
>>>>> (a phosphorous-containing chemical) gave way to a new line of
>>>>> insecticides
>>>>> and the chlorine used in weapons such as phosgene and mustard gas
>>>>> became
>>>>> feedstock for newly designed solvents, PCBs and, eventually,
>>>>> plastics.
>>>>>
>>>>> The chemical industry really took off after World War II. In the
>>>>> United
>>>>> States, synthetic organic chemical production has grown more than
>>>>> thirty-fold since 1940. Today industry produces billions of tons of
>>>>> chemicals per year of approximately 90,000 substances. These man-
>>>>> made
>>>>> chemicals are the foundation of our built environment. They form our
>>>>> plastics, cosmetics, household cleaners, pharmaceuticals, resins,
>>>>> pesticides, food packaging, paper, clothing, flame-retardants,
>>>>> electronics,
>>>>> solvents, paint, automobile parts, mattresses, lumber, pigments,
>>>>> refrigeration, detergents, PVC, silicone, dry cleaning,
>>>>> disinfectants,
>>>>> lubricants  the list is truly endless.
>>>>>
>>>>> Many of these chemicals and the byproducts produced during their
>>>>> life
>>>>> cycle
>>>>> are stable and persist in the environment. These chemicals also
>>>>> bio-accumulate, meaning they increase in concentration as they
>>>>> move up the
>>>>> food chain. Chemicals can travel great distances on currents of
>>>>> wind and
>>>>> water, making remote regions like the Arctic just as susceptible to
>>>>> degradation.
>>>>>
>>>>> New research demonstrates that some of these pollutants, even at
>>>>> very low
>>>>> doses, can cause serious health problems. Previously it was
>>>>> thought that
>>>>> decreasing the concentration of a substance would mitigate its
>>>>> impact.
>>>>> Dilution is no longer seen as the pollution solution. Timing of
>>>>> exposure
>>>>> is
>>>>> crucial and sensitivity is particularly high when exposure occurs
>>>>> in utero
>>>>> or early development.
>>>>>
>>>>> For many years, cancer was the primary health concern. Today,
>>>>> laboratory
>>>>> studies and wildlife observations demonstrate that chemical
>>>>> dangers are
>>>>> extensive. Chemical exposures disrupt endocrine, reproductive,
>>>>> immune and
>>>>> nervous systems as well as contribute to cancer and other diseases.
>>>>>
>>>>> In its first scientific statement published in 2009, The Endrocrine
>>>>> Society
>>>>> -- an international body with 14,000 members founded in 1916 --
>>>>> stated:
>>>>> "Results from animal models, human clinical observations, and
>>>>> epidemiological studies converge to implicate EDCs [endocrine-
>>>>> disrupting
>>>>> chemicals] as a significant concern to public health."
>>>>>
>>>>> The United States government does not require manufacturers to
>>>>> prove a
>>>>> chemical is safe before use and companies generally do not
>>>>> voluntarily do
>>>>> so. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has only required
>>>>> testing
>>>>> for some 200 of the 90,000 chemicals already in circulation. In
>>>>> response,
>>>>> many groups and concerned citizens are promoting the precautionary
>>>>> principle, which states that the manufacture of certain products
>>>>> should
>>>>> cease even when there are only hypothetical and untested risks. This
>>>>> places
>>>>> the burden of proof on the industry to show that a substance is safe
>>>>> rather
>>>>> than on society to demonstrate there is a specific risk.
>>>>>
>>>>> Some scientists are creating new frameworks, citing the failure of
>>>>> the
>>>>> scientific method alone to sufficiently protect human health and
>>>>> ecological
>>>>> effects. Funtowicz and Ravetz, for example, have introduced
>>>>> postnormal
>>>>> science, which is useful when facts are uncertain, the stakes are
>>>>> high and
>>>>> decisions are urgent. These scientists encourage dialogue and
>>>>> participation
>>>>> with a full range of stakeholders since scientific objectivity
>>>>> cannot
>>>>> provide all that is needed for decision-making on high, risk issues.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>>> empyre forum
>>>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>>
>
>
> Renate Ferro
> Visiting Assistant Professor
> Department of Art
> Cornell University, Tjaden Hall
> Ithaca, NY  14853
>
> Email:   <rtf9 at cornell.edu>
> Website:  http://www.renateferro.net
>
>
> Co-moderator of _empyre soft skinned space
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empyre
>
> Art Editor, diacritics
> http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/dia/
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
>


-- 
Ricardo Dominguez
Associate Professor
Hellman Fellow

Visual Arts Department, UCSD
http://visarts.ucsd.edu/
Principal Investigator, CALIT2
http://calit2.net
Co-Chair gallery at calit2
http://gallery.calit2.net
CRCA Researcher
http://crca.ucsd.edu/
Ethnic Studies Affiliate
http://www.ethnicstudies.ucsd.edu/
Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies Affiliate
http://cilas.ucsd.edu


Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics,
Board Member
http://hemi.nyu.edu

University of California, San Diego,
9500 Gilman Drive Drive,
La Jolla, CA 92093-0436
Phone: (619) 322-7571
e-mail: rrdominguez at ucsd.edu

Project sites:
site: http://gallery.calit2.net
site: http://pitmm.net
site: http://bang.calit2.net
site: http://www.thing.net/~rdom
blog:http://post.thing.net/blog/rdom


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