About « critical making » into production processes and technological development, I think it can be considered as an ethical concept.
What are we making (together) ? is a question I would like to explore by many ways and fields : research, technology, ecomonmy, culture, environment, etc…
Critical making means that we have to make choices and take decisions making things and objects. We have to use our reason in front of physical and organical
materials. This is the link between concrete and abstract or conceptual R&D.
We have to think our practices.
And it means that we have to think our gestures, into the environment in which they happen and they place themselves, in term of time and space, their relation
with others, and their impact and consequence. This at a local and global levels. « Act in your place, think with the world » wrote the poet Edouard Glissant.
It is necessary to think an ecology of gestures. And an economy.
We also have to think gesture as vital experience for human kind, and as a part of its development and evolution, at individual and transindividual scale, at
historical and geological ones too (what is a gesture into the anthropocène ?). Experience of the existence, a so simple and so complex thing. Sensitive and
intelligible experience, as its perception and understanding.
Technology, in an anthropological point of view, are the « extensions of man », as said by Marshall McLuhan, the canadian media theorist.
It's necessary to understand and to design the technologies as extensions of human capacities, for making life livable on the planet, instead of amputation of
It arises the question of who, and for doing what, in which way, invent and design the technologies. For which kind and forms of life ?
This is a question of culture, or civilization.
The considération of gesture, here, is proposed as the human intervention and action, into the production process. That means a recapacitation and the
desautomation. The gesture is the condition of capacity to judge and to decide, through its own knoledge and faculties, at the contrary of the loss of knowledge
described by the french philosopher Bernard Stiegler (The automatic society, 2015).
So into the free culture and maker movement, with free and open software and hardware, 3D printing and all the machines we can get easily, the reasons to
make and the ways to share should be submitted to critical making.
Or, as the example from Matt Ratto, what are the reasons to make a gun ?
And as said McLuhan, some tools are made without the possibilty to choose for good and bad use : a gun is made to kill.
Please, don't shoot the pianist ( from the title of a well known french film).
> Message du 09/12/15 à 17h20
> De : firstname.lastname@example.org
> A : "YASMIN DISCUSSIONS"
> Copie à : "Matt Ratto"
> Objet : [Yasmin_discussions] Transformative and Critical Making
> From Matt Ratto on critical thinking and physical making:
> Over the last few years, the long-standing 'firewall' between critical thinking
> and physical making has been toppling, in no small part due to scholars '
> and practitioners in design, the digital humanities, artistic
> practice, engineering,
> and other areas who have developed specific modes of material/conceptual
> engagement. While most critical work often remains focused on linguistic
> processes and outputs, "critical making" (broadly construed) is more and
> more finding a place within pedagogical and research-oriented contexts.
> Obviously, this work ties into and participates to greater or lesser degrees
> with the practices of enthusiast 'maker' communities, professional design
> contexts, new forms of value-focused engineering pedagogies, and artistic
> What connects the diversity of the communities involved and the values
> espoused, is some interest in the 'critical', whether that means
> in the old liberatory and Marxist Frankfurt School sense, reflective regarding
> the environmental and social outcomes of modern industrial production, or
> insight-generating related to other tropes and forms of material engagements.
> My own particular interest has been methodological, working out to what
> degree material engagements give us new modes for exploring the
> entanglements of the material and the semiotic and the way power in society
> relates to the specific forms these entanglements take. But I very much think
> that the time is ripe for a more general conversation to be had regarding the
> ways in which critical forms of making fit and do not fit into
> standard institutional
> and disciplinary contexts, whether those of engineering, art, design, or other
> fields. In particular, it seems important to call attention to
> contradictory value
> assumptions associated with these contexts, including differing concepts of
> instrumental logic, novelty, aesthetic sophistication, and the like.
> Working in more substantive interdisciplinary ways requires closer attention
> to the often naturalized ways in which we establish what counts as 'critical'.
> My hope is that the Yasmin conversation can start such a conversation. As
> a small contribution to this, here is a link to a short piece I
> published on Medium:
> Matt Ratto is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information at the
> University of Toronto and directs the Semaphore Research cluster on
> Inclusive Design, Mobile and Pervasive Computing and, as part of Semaphore,
> the Critical Making lab. His work explores the intersections between digital
> technologies and the human life world, with a particular focus on new
> developments that trouble the divide between online and offline modes of
> production. His research also addresses pervasive and ubiquitous technologies
> including wearable computing and the Internet of Things. He coined the term
> 'critical making" in 2007 to describe work that combines humanities insights
> and engineering practices, and has published extensively on this concept.
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SBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.
If you prefer to read the posts on a blog go to http://yasminlist.blogspot.com/