- Go over the module handbook
- Talk about expectations/goals (work load and help – Me! Bren! Hi Joey and Tom!)
- Delivery style and pace
- This blog – Your blog
- Our extensive use of Wikipedia on these notes is emphatically intentional – you are the best people to be engaging with a new shared conception of knowledge and fact (correct mistakes! help generate our a posteriori reality! join the conversation!)
So. This class iis about creative reflections on technology, and using technology. We’re not necessarily always interested in the ‘right way’ to do things, in terms of commercial production, or how the manual tells you to use software, etc. We are, however, interested in looking critically at tools, their use, and the assumptions and values they embody.
Most generally – the approach we’ll take in this class is about establishing a playful relationship with technology. Something akin to playing with physical materials – an outlook that speaks of having some understanding of the fact that there is no technical difference between the ‘digital’ and ‘analog’… It’s all the same damn world, the same “reality.” With that in mind:
- 2008 module theme song – Iggy and the Stoges: Search and Destroy (studio version) – esp. right at 0:50 sec
I hope this highlights that all approaches and intentions are welcome here:
- “I use technology in order to hate it more properly” – Nam June Paik
- “I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.” Bill Gates
- “Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.” Andy Rooney
- “Intuition is linear; our imaginations are weak. Even the brightest of us only extrapolate from what we know now; for the most part, we’re afraid to really stretch.” – Ray Kurtzweil
This first meeting is intended to give us a grounding in the implications of digital systems to the known universe and the ways in which digital representations are used to represent (create?) linear and non-linear image, moving image and sound.
- What is technology?
- What technologies are good? What technologies are bad?
- What do tools do to us? The Photoshop filter effect…
Ways of Thinking About Technology (see assignment coming out of today’s session)
- Techno-determinism – lightbulb begets vacuum tube gebets transistor
- “Great men” – “Robber Barons” – Thomas Kuhn and subjectivity in science, context, paradigm shifts
- Militarism – Foucault, Verilio, Kittler – Challenge and Response (Toynbee) – dialectic?
- Genealogies – Time’s Arrow Time’s Cycle (S. J. Gould), Neische
- Wetware – interaction design
- What is your experience of technology?
- What does technology do to your experience (of it – and ‘reality’ in general)?
- What does the presence of a particular technological artefact say about our world, culture, individuality?
- Pretend that you’re an alien landing on the earth – what would the presence of, say, a projector tell you about us?
- Zielinski, Bruce Sterling (The Dead Media Project – what do the technologies we throw away say about us?)
- Social / Anthropologically
- What is “natural” and what is “technology”?
- Is it possible we are continually re-making ourselves into the world…? (language and computation, video compression,
The Abstraction Away from Mortality – The Existential / Materialist Argument
- A theory of abstraction – mechanical to electrical to informationals
- electrum – electron – amber
- mechanical power – water wheels: 1500-1800
- electricity – dynamos and generators: 1800-1900
- electro-mechanical telegraph – 1900
- radio – wireless telegraph – WWI / WWII (e.g.: RFID for fighter planes)
- electronics – postwar, cybernetics, control
- digital age – post 70′s, internet (BI: Before the Internet
- Verplank –> Abraham Maslow : Pyramids. Towards transcendental / utopian societies?
- Hardware / Software / Wetware – hardware as idea/politic: US=CPU, Asia=RAM
- Mind body relations – devaluing the physical / material
- The human comedy – running from material in fear of death! Ha ha!
Electricity / Electronics
- Power = Voltage * Current
- Power (electricity) = Information (electronics)
Analog = Analogous – EXERCISE
- Hold hands!
- Drawing on the board –> the squeezing of a hand…
- Horseshoe loop – two white boards…
- Transferring a signal from one board to another
- What are the characteristics of this (instantaneous, subjective, atemporal)
- Analog & Digital
- why digital?
- what can we do with this new construction? (pick this up next week…)
Arduino – Simple Intro (expand on this next week)
- Arduino – Getting Started
- Short background – Arduino, the project
- What is on the PCB (printed circuit board)
- Digital output – blinking light
- Communicating with the computer using the System.println() function
- Analog Input / Analog Output
- Go over the material from today’s class
- Get your blog up and running
- Technology Analysis Assignment
- For next week – choose one piece of ‘technology’ (broadly defined) that is in your life. A clock, a toothbrush - Take a picture.
- Analyse it historically, experientially, archeologically, socially… Write up to 250 (~50 words for each analysis?) on your blog.
- Buy an Arduino board if you haven’t already…
- Try examples on the Arduino site of…
- Blking an LED
- Reading in a sensor and reading it to the serial port
- Having the sensor input change the brightness of the LED
- Think of a scale up / scale down mapping you could perform with the Arduino (implement a sketch of it if you have time)
- EXAMPLES FROM CLASS: Arduino_FirstExamples.zip
- Note: These are potentiometers you might want to buy/find – the ‘value’ of the potentiometer doesn’t really matter for the moment.