Critically Making the Internet of Things, Session III

Posted on Dec 9, 2011 in Conferences, Workshops & CFPs

Notes taken in real-time and subject to my brain’s filtering mechanisms. My comments in italics.

Random Walks on the Internet Side of Things
Christian Lindholm, Fjord

“We design for all the glowing rectangles–and beyond.”

Walks: design evolution; digital-physical; affordance; applications; contextual design

Mail boxes as services and adverts; you pop in an envelope and it pops out somewhere else.

Physical triggers to access the network.

“Designing the ‘of course!'”

simplicity > implicity (“I, the service, want you, the user, to touch me here first.”) — reduces random noise, creates liquid experiences

How do you create applications that scale to things? Contextual integration, surprise, entertainment… Mobile design must adapt to context.

The context dilemma: “In digital services you might be one click from creepy.” Ha!

Just thinking… Supervising PhD students reminds me how valuable it is to not only talk about what to do, but also how to do it. (Method, process, whatever.) It takes longer, but I think it’s worth it. Maybe a conference on how, in practice, to critically make the Internet of Things? Surely we’ve gotten to that point…

Who? Me? Augmented Subjects/Objects
Johanna Drucker, UCLA

“Reality was never consensual … It’s time for criticism to become science fiction, so don’t expect an argument.”

What a beautifully written/spoken presentation! So very hard to take notes…

On AR, “Who speaks these signs hanging in the air? They know who I am without knowing me.”

Augmentation: “Imagination becomes a consensus making machine. The lines between produced subjectivities are shifting. New techniques. A vector of to-ness, toward-ness.”

Blurred boundaries and Lynx’s Fallen Angel Ambush

(The fallen angel advert was the first Lynx promo that didn’t make me throw up in my mouth, because an angel does something that other subjects/objects can’t…)

I, agency vs. me, self-absorption

Augmentation/images not from a point of view, but aimed at one. Systems creating themselves. Subjects imploded into an objectivity. An “I” is made in dialogue. A “me” is an undifferentiated self, infantile. Dialogue becomes not monologue but autolog.

Not a moral argument but a social inquiry. The question of who speaks is relevant. The objects begin their new regimes because they can. When a culture deceives itself, is it different from when a person does? The augmentation of self through objects changes individual agency into narcissistic amplification.


The spectrum of “thingness” is extended in an augmented environment. A new dimension of projection and illusion. Our narcissism leads us to believe that we have control, but there is a life to things.

Resisting a moral argument or privileged critique because of its naivety and complicity. An aesthetics or poetics is a production of knowledge rather than a prescription for behaviour.

Yes. But beware the apolitical.

A good question about whether a latent object can engage in the gaze, especially the gaze as a power transaction. Johanna reminded us that latency ends in the moment of engagement. Rather than asking in whose (other) interests, she wants to ask about the desiring systems in which we are all active parts. The ethical rather than the moral.

Ace talk and discussion!