monochrom presentations at 2600’s “The Next HOPE” Conference (July 16-18, 2010) in New York City. Check ’em out!
Arse Elektronika: Sex, Tech, and the Future of
We may not forget that mankind is a sexual and tool-using species.
From the depiction of a vulva in a cave painting to the newest
Internet porno, technology and sexuality have always been closely
linked. New technologies are quick to appeal to pornography consumers,
and thus these customers represent a profitable market segment for the
suppliers of new products and services.
Currently, all factors show that high-tech developments owe a great
deal of their success to the need for further sexual stimulation. One
could cite the example provided by the science fiction concept of a
full-body interface designed to produce sexual stimulation. But it isn’t
science fiction anymore. It’s DIY.
As bio-hacking, sexually enhanced bodies, genetic utopias, and
plethora of gender have long been the focus of literature, science
fiction and, increasingly, pornography, this year will see us explore
the possibilities that fictional and authentic bodies have to offer. Our
world is already way more bizarre than our ancestors could have ever
imagined. But it may not be bizarre enough. “Bizarre enough for what?”
you might ask. Bizarre enough to subvert the heterosexist matrix that is
underlying our world and that we should hack and overcome for some
quite pressing reasons within the next century.
Don’t you think, replicants?
Hackerspaces Forever: A Panel Presented by Hackerspaces.org
With Nick Farr (HacDC, Washington DC, USA), Mitch Altman
(Noisebridge, San Francisco, USA), Sean Bonner (Crashspace, Los Angeles,
USA / HackspaceSG, Singapore), Johannes Grenzfurthner (hackbus.at,
Vienna, Austria), Markus “fin” Hametner (Metalab, Vienna, Austria),
Alexander Heid (HackMiami, Miami, FL, USA), Nathan “JimShoe” Warner
(Makers Local 256, Huntsville, AL, USA), Matt Joyce (NYC Resistor,
Brooklyn, NY, USA), Carlyn Maw (Crashspace, Los Angeles, CA, USA), Far
McKon (Hive 76, Philadelphia, PA, USA), Psytek (Alpha One Labs,
Brooklyn, NY, USA)
We called your excuses invalid at The Last HOPE and you proved us
right! Since launching hackerspaces.org at The Last HOPE, there’s been
phenomenal worldwide growth in the hackerspaces movement. Continuing to
build on progress, this panel discussion brought to you by
Hackerspaces.org will focus on strategies to help avoid drama, grow your
hackerspace, and connect with your community.
Reach Out And Touch Face: A Rant About Failing
Hackers love knowledge. They try to find out how stuff works. And
that’s great. Experimentation is a major part of hacking. It is in the
most philosophical sense a deconstruction of things.
A specific use is never inherent to an object, even though technical
demagogues like to claim that it is. Just compare the term “self-explanatory” and the term “archeological find.” It’s a pretty hard
task to find out what technology is and what it should do if you don’t
have a clue about the context. Usually the use is connected with the
object through definition (“instructions for use”). Turning an object
against the use inscribed in it means probing its possibilities.
Science and Technology Studies (especially Langdon Winner and Bruno
Latour) have convincingly demonstrated that the widespread inability to
understand technological artifacts as fabricated entities, as social and
cultural phenomena, derives from the fact that in retrospect only those
technologies that prove functional for a culture and can be integrated
into everyday life are “left over.” However, the perception of what is
functional, successful, and useful is itself the product of social and
cultural, and, last but not least, political and economic processes.
Selection processes and abandoned products (developmental derailments,
sobering intermediary results, useless prototypes) are not discussed.
Well. What can we do?
We can fail. Beautifully.
The complete schedule of “The Next HOPE” can be found here.