It is no longer a matter of confronting man and machine to estimate possible or impossible correspondences, extensions and substitutions of the one or the other, of ever new relationships of similarity and metaphorical relations between humans and machines, but rather of concatenations, of how man becomes a piece with the machine or with other things in order to constitute a machine. The ‘other things’ may be animals, tools, other people, statements, signs or desires, but they only become machine in a process of exchange, not in the paradigm of substitution.
– Gerald Raunig, A Thousand Machines, 2010
Each semester in Critique of Design II we direct our arrows of critique to another of the favourite buzzwords of design discourse. This semester, it is “interaction”: Decontextualised, severed in theory if not in matter from the folds and flows that characterise our everyday existence, interaction as and for experience reproduces instrumentalist biases by submitting objects to the whims of the individual user/designer. A closer look, on the other hand, reveals that the ontological conditions we are in are highly ambiguous and hybrid: Yes, we all are cyborgs—some of us camera-eyed, others semio-fingered, still others bicycle-bottomed—and we need a new politics of design!
Exploring new materialist and post-structuralist theories in parallel with science-fiction film and literature, we will investigate instances where persons and objects intertwine with “animals, tools, other people, statements, signs or desires”, and we will make projects—preferably videos, but perhaps events or installations.
You can find the poster here.