Rich interview with design futurist Anab Jain, with real clarity about the failures of corporate futurism: “it seems that much of the ‘futures’ work done by large organisations, while necessarily strategic, prioritises the intellectual over the experiential….It’s very easy for them to commission and produce visions of the future that are glossy and seductive, but which fail to address the messiness, hybridity, and darker sides of our future.”
Especially interesting to readers of this blog are Jain’s comments about Donna Haraway, Katherine Hayles, and cyborg vision:
From the here-and-now, one personal hero is Donna Haraway, a radical visionary observing the madness of the modern world from her perspective as a cyborg and self-described ‘quintessential technological body.’ From A Cyborg Manifesto (1985) to her work on companion species, Haraway writes about machines in all their forms, where and how they enter our bodies, and how our bodies disperse into networks penetrated by information feeds. In this world of messy hybrid networks that are part-human, part-machine, the difference between ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’ seem increasingly irrelevant. Hers in a body of work that I find really ‘futuristic’. Another influence is literary critic and recovering biologist Katherine Hayles, whose work around ideas of the ‘posthuman’ is really interesting. Her 2005 essay ‘Computing the Human‘ was really inspiring, focusing on the shift from notions of the superman to the posthuman. Hayles and Haraway are both women who completely changed my personal approach to technology, and have continued to impact on the way I work with technology as both material and cultural construct.
Also interesting: augmented reality as prothesis:
Thanks to Bruce Sterling for the pointer!