It’s been a while since I’ve written on here, purely because my 3rd year has taken it’s toll on things, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. What is the bad thing though is the fact not being able to communicate x, y and z thoughts about society, my work, how I fit into a place or a bigger picture. In fear of being brutally honest about my work and my thoughts is sometimes something to which even scares me, and i doubt it’s even just me. We all have pressures and expectations we put on ourselves, which couldn’t have manifested in bigger ways then it has in my current (and last!! wtf?!) undergrad year at Goldsmiths.
So here it goes. I’m preparing for my 20min VIVA exam which is in about 2 and half weeks, and really, I just thought I had to share what exactly is going through my mind when I sit down, walk, look at things, everyone and experience stuff, because I guess as a “designer” going out in the world, I have to and really this is who I am. This began the start and first draft but soon turned into something else, which is still relevant to my exam, just it isn’t my exam. I’m trying to make this as unbelievably honest response to a years work, trying to say it as it is. I don’t know how much I’ll post on here. If I don’t speak honestly now, when will I? If my grammar is messed up, I blame it on the dyslexia, but I don’t care.
Find more on icookthingsonanopenfire.tumblr.com
Thanks for reading.
CURIOSITY: why do things exist?
Why do we need all this technology? Where is it going and what is it coming to? Why is everything on a screen?
How about I live without technology for a week? Find out what it’s like without all these things in my life? Surely I can produce a shit ton of stuff myself?
So that week was painful and I only really managed 5 days before breaking to go out to a rave, my word, electronic music never felt so good. my days were mainly spent sourcing food, traveling to places and I probably lost about 1 and a half kilos in weight. Did I feel good after this week? in a nut shell, no. Today’s western society prides itself on being efficient, full of experience, openly conclusive (i.e. here’s a finished thing but it can still grow - which actually as designers, scientists and general creatives/explorers, has always been the way to go, discovery is a must that must always continue). After 5 days of pretty much doing nothing but everything to stay alive and warm, I was through. What happened to all my other receptors in me? This week showed me how much I can produce within a few days, and actually the patience i can have, in fact all humans should have. But where was my camera, recording devices, pens, papers, the way of how I wanted to see the world? How did I see the world?
If anything I had just grown a huge appreciation for societies advancements in technology, discovery and creativity, and really I only had a gripe about over use, but knowing when over use starts and ends is something that we need to be aware of if we’re going to use our techs effectively and what they’re really for. In a way was I really having a gripe about overuse of tech, because it’d become a thing of leisure, entertainment, therefore it’s actual neo-use (if there’s an actual “neo” use for modern digital tech) be what I was trying to look into? Had we strained away from what it meant to be living into “living = entertainment, and everything that needs to be done is being taken care of already so I ain’t gota worry about that shit”. What have our lives become? What’s the meaning of life - and i’ll stop that little question right, there.
Fucking neo uses, do neo uses exist anymore in our society? If so how long do they last for? Track and trace a process and it’s need/causes of being.
Part of the fun may be in finding out what other ways tech can exist which seems to be a huge trend at the moment. We want to know everything about well, everything. But whats the point, we just endlessly make shit, want the shit, buy the shit, use the shit, forget the shit because other newer shit has been placed front of us. User effectivity, caution, knowing what you already have and not sticking it into a system or a bin - or even on a hard drive for a rainy day - what is a technological rainy day? will we ever have one?
So I had an interesting idea. I am a human, I am capable of production, how much of a machine am I? To what point can I create now I have my vast amounts of modern tech? I decided to go wild with fat, i.e. butter.
Before I go into the butter story, I need to touch on a few things, firstly, here’s a manifesto for you all written back in early December:
“We use elements, explore properties, while regaining or even maintaining a culture.
We design/dissect/give birth/fix this and our “culture” around “this” property, material, structure, belief.
Everything is a commodity even if automated.
The automated can still grow or be discovered further a field.
The aesthetic doesn’t (always) to relate to the function,
- infact who designs the aesthetic?
Systems, infrastructure and morality. Emotion in a machine, embed and vice versa.”
What is technology? A technology is anything and everything. An organic technology is one which is natural, has always existed, e.g. a chicken, or even you, yes you’re a technology. Then you’ve got modern tech. The word modern should be used relatively in relation to the times and place you’re using it in. So knives, spoons, etc, inanimate things that can be cultivated or designed - poss. analogue category. THEN, techs consisting of domestic devices, entertainment devices - such as things that use electricity, some form of power. Then to follow on form that further you’ve got all your digital stuff.
To follow on, in my own words, “An object is a technology, an infrastructure is a process in which numerous technologies can survive and create a part of an (eco)system. An ecosystem harbours these technologies”.
CALCULATE A SCENARIO, yeah bitches.
Thanks to Aristotle, and then Heidegger, we have something called the “4 causes”. These causalities donate themselves to what the essence of an object is. You see you have a tree, it’s a tree, but what does it mean to be a tree? Well what does it mean to be tea? Lets explore.
The form - what does tea look like? What form does it come in/what will it become?
The material - what is tea formed of materially?
The end thing - what does it “become”? boom, yes, tea.
The action implied onto the object - what do you do with it to complete it’s purpose?
The 4th of those I believe to be the definitive thing that extracts essence from an object. The action is what makes the object right? Because if we treated tea like coffee, we’d have coffee-tea? Almost, we’d have a process in which we name “coffee making” implied onto tea. But! due to it’s 2nd causality, i.e. the material structure, tea process is different to other processes.
In addition to this I thought I’d give my own ingenious twists.
THE CALCULATION OF A SCENARIO IN AN ENVIRONMENT:
So you’re in a bar, that’s 2 things, you, a user, the bar, the place. You’ve ordered some wine, (that’s 3). You’ve got a loose electric wire dangling across the floor (that’s 4). All these objects including yourself can intertwine and cause an episode. There’s numerous ways this could happen. If you exchange the bar for your living room, the chances of the same or similar scenario happening are probably likely depending on what else is happening in that environment - what enhancements and small changes take place in relation to the above 4 causalities. So I guess now, you could say, you have a scenario in a scenario. Scenario inception?
and then, you have this, my other twist:
THE FRAMING OF A POINT IN A MOVING SCENARIO:
There’s the user (hola!), there’s the object/engineered technology, there’s the environment in which this all happens, and then there’s the framing and depiction of how the scenario is mapped out and played out with a recording or analysing device/process. Pin pointing a key frame which can be analysed to reveal more about the qualities and interactions happening within that set key frame.
These 3 different analysis of calculation lead me onto being able to pick any technology (in which later I went onto tea) and defining why that thing exists, how it can be enhanced by using itself and the processes it needs to be that thing. Really this is what lead on route to obsession with finding perfection in a working process, i.e. HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA. Do I believe that perfection exists? At first no, and still, no, not really, but I do believe in being close to perfection and refining techniques. These techniques will always change as will humanity and their needs.
PICK A TECH, START USING THAT TECH - BUTTER - TECHNOLOGY FOR SELF - the main reason WHY technologies to exist.
PREDECESSORS TO THE TEA OBSESSION
So yeah, the butter, an organic tech. Rewind to October. I decided to make it myself to understand how fat was used, and why we don’t use it as much today, the main reasons being around sustainability, production of fat and newer inventions in insulation. This however was the beginnings to see how far I could push a technology such as butter alone without the help of many catalysts. I knew I’d leave butter sooner or later, but question arose around usability of this technology and versatility. Butter lacks versatility and it’s neo-use is human consumption (well, actually we’re taking the baby calves milk away from them but that’s another blog post there).
Imagine if your jacket was cladded in fat? I may have done this, to a scarf at least and no it didn’t smell. The butter hardened over time, gave it a nice satin/matt finish. The contractions between embedding clothing with fat and whacking it on a beautifully slim model who has barely any fat herself is what interested me. I continued using fat as padding around the body and as insulation. How far could i actually go with using butter? Was butter the most beneficial of fats to use? To really go further, butter is a food stuff, the economical balance would tip if we used butter for non food stuff. Did I really want to turn England into a county that was using it’s food stuff for the likes of biofuel and insulation? Plus we’re kind of past it (past it? more, let’s just not go there, we have smart materials that do the job better) - I can at least say I’d learnt the lesson from other countries.
Putting that to bed, I had to ask myself, what about technology was I really interested in or what about it? There’s only so much that can be changed when we’re talking about digital processes and digital is binary, i.e. it’s either 0 or 1. There’s no in-between, but I’m sure there is, in my own head. So if it exists in my mind, SURELY it exists, or could exist in real life? There, giveth birth to the idea of;
TRACK AND TRACE A PROCESS. THE SEARCH FOR 0.5.
I’ll begin with the hypothesis, everything is a cloud or a box - i.e. solid state or gas, a server and the information flying around within electrical currents or atoms making transitions from one place to another carrying along other atoms. 0.5 must the transition state taking into consideration, speeds in information transfer, the size of information and the size of the processor. I like thinking about physics, I hate testing it, but I like the idea of tracing something that moves and has a possible destination, be it known/unknown. At the time I could only trace something at it’s beginning and end destinations; what this was, was enabled me to pin point a circuit and processor at different points during its routine.
All good and well, but really this bored me because of this question; Where was the human interaction? Why was this vital in terms of understanding our bigger society? This is a process that only a few people know how to intercept. This basically pointed out yes, our technological advancements are becoming more speculative and away from our immediate control, and I wanted to know what was still in our control and how we could keep it that way.
to be continued tomorrow (possibly, most likely).