Ola Ståhl & Terje Östling, ‘23,500t’

Ståhl and Östling presented a 45 minute performance of their artist book, “23,500” (Malmö: Publication Studio, 2013). As described in their statement for the seminar, the book engages with “the interstitial space between architecture, materiality and gentrification. Drawing upon a substantial archive of photographs and texts, the concertina publication consists of a 12m long print documenting the Sheffield housing estate Park Hill – a massive, council-owned, Brutalist structure currently being privatised and therefore undergoing massive refurbishment. The image on one side of the print is a collage of photographs that together make up the entirety of the facade of the complex. The opposite side of the print contains a series of text collages weaving together descriptive text, archival material and references to architectural theory. The covers of the publication are cast in concrete, the same material used to construct the frame of the housing complex itself.”

For the seminar four Kodak Carousel slide projectors were used to project a black and white mosaic style panorama of Park Hill estate, which Östling slowly cycled through while Ståhl read from the text of the book. Much of the reading focused on giving granular descriptions of the estate, with an emphasis given to the edifice itself, the fractal qualities of its hard angles and rough surfaces as well as its occasional patches of washing, graffiti or leftover rubbish, traces of inhabitants within what is currently a largely derelict space. The cycling of slides from right to left was such that one was taken on a “walk” around the entire facade of Park Hill, finishing at the end of the performance back at the first slide and starting point of this verbal and visual tour.

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David Cuartielles & Tony Olsson, ‘The digital artisan’

History and frameworks for the labs

David began the seminar with an introduction to the background of his work at K3 and Malmö University. When David arrived in 2000 he wanted to look at how the Interaction Design program could refresh its focus on prototyping with physical materials. One emphasis became to teach and encourage the Interaction Design students to build the tools if they didn’t already exist. The need for easy to work with circuit boards became one clear need in many of the projects and this experience of working with the students fed into the further development of the Arduino project, which David was directly involved with as one of its founders.

Further lessons learned in these early labs included:

1) the need for setting interesting goals that would act as drivers for pushing students beyond their expectations of what was possible,
2) pushing students to exhibit in public,
3) the need for better documentation processes of the work produced,
4) the need for constraints that enable the students to work more directly with specific concepts,
5) the need for objects to be able to connect to other objects. Building on these needs, the lab was professionalised in such a way that the now standard model of fast prototyping with interesting and critically-oriented design briefs that challenge students to think beyond straightforward functionalities was born. Continue reading

Susan Kozel, ‘Somatic Materiailsm: some implications for archiving’

Photo: Jeannette Ginslov. Dance: Wubkje Kuindersma.

Photo: Jeannette Ginslov. Dance: Wubkje Kuindersma.

Susan presented work in progress relating to the ongoing Living Archives project. Susan and other members of the Living Archives team had just recently returned from two presentations of their work. The first was a presentation by Susan on the topic “Performing Memory” at the LARM Audio Research Archive Conference on Digital Archives, Audiovisual Media, and Cultural Memory at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. The second, AffeXity: Passages & Tunnels, was a socially enacted performance involving mobile phones, augmented reality and dance given at the Re-New Digital Arts Festival 2013, also in Copenhagen. Key themes in both the presentation and the performance are those of affect, bodies, performance, materiality and archiving, which Susan discussed further in this seminar.

What is an archive?
One issue which the Living Archives is working with is the question of “What is an archive?” Susan referred to Jacques Derrida’s addressing of this question in his book Archive Fever, the way in which definitions of archives can be understood as being policed by numerous actors and institutions in relation to any given subject matter. Archiving and the digitisation of archives has become a very hot topic across a range of fields both in academia and within society in general. The need to try to take stock of the current situation and ask why it is that our culture appears to experience a sort of crisis of memory at this particular moment? The Living Archives team is currently focused on approaching such issues not so much from the standard launching point of simply providing a digitisation solution for analogue material, but rather by exploring a variety of different archives and archiving practices, with one common theme being a focus on possible participatory modalities that both digital and other methods can enact with any given archive/archiving practice. The frameworks that open data movements provide have also been of particular interest to the group. Continue reading

Linda Hilfling & Jacek Smolicki, new K3 PhD candidates

Linda Hilfling presentation
Linda Hilfling, the new K3 PhD candidate in Interaction Design, has for several years been a practicing artist and discussed several of her past projects. This included Misspelling Generator, a browser extension that works with the spellchecking functionality in Google Search to suggest alternative spellings of words that might help users to get to otherwise censored search results. For example, in the case of someone searching for “Tiananmen Square” within China, the iconic and most searched for images of the protests on the square would be withheld from any user carrying out this search within China. With the browser extension installed, however, the user will be prompted with misspellings of Tiananmen Square – replacing Google’s default “Did you mean” prompt with a “Have you tried” message that offers several misspellings that will get around the censored search results that a correctly spelled search request would yield. One might call this a kind of “accidental activism.”

Linda Hilfling, fjernstyring /// remote control

Linda Hilfling, fjernstyring /// remote control

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Bo Reimer & Jonas Löwgren, ‘Collaborative Media’

Moderator: Mads Høbye, PhD Candidate in Interaction Design

Introductory text

collab media

With many new forms of digital media — including such popular social media as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr — the people formerly known as the audience no longer only consume but also produce and even design media. Jonas Löwgren (Professor of Interaction Design) and Bo Reimer (Professor of Media and Communications Studies) term this phenomenon collaborative media, and in their book they investigate the qualities and characteristics of these forms of media in terms of what they enable people to do. They do so through an interdisciplinary research approach that combines the social sciences and humanities traditions of empirical and theoretical work with practice-based, design-oriented interventions.

Löwgren and Reimer offer analysis and a series of illuminating case studies — examples of projects in collaborative media that range from small multidisciplinary research experiments to commercial projects used by millions of people. Löwgren and Reimer discuss the case studies at three levels of analysis: society and the role of collaborative media in societal change; institutions and the relationship of collaborative media with established media structures; and tribes, the nurturing of small communities within a large technical infrastructure. They conclude by advocating an interventionist turn within social analysis and media design.
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Open Seminar on Materiality


Berndt Clavier
reading: Foucault, Michel, Mauro Bertani, Alessandro Fontana, François Ewald, and David Macey. Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège De France, 1975-76. New York: Picador, 2003.
thing: photos of fitness wristband advertising

How material objects have become better than people at displaying truths. Foucault’s series of lectures as a good starting point on this: how materiality enters into the category of political thought and ontology at the same time that nations discover they are people, English state composed of two people: the ruler and the people, from here discourse of race arises, transforms political discourse from universality to a materiality of the local from now on.

The modern concept that if you know who you are you can make the right decisions. The popularity self is materialised in the technologies of the self, such as the contemporary wristband that measures the number of steps and heartbeat, or the vibrator that measure your orgasm. The desire to know whether you have had the “right” orgasm, the “proper” amount of physical exercise, etc.
images: wristband that tracks who you are, etc.

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