Thursday, December 24, 2015

[Yasmin_discussions] Transformative and Critical Making

Subject: Transformative and Critical Making
Matt, and colleagues

Just to add some personal anecdotes re critical making

a) I was lucky to be in a secondary school that had a woodshop,machine shop,
electronics shop ( yeah this was 1964) and all the students took 'shop' - the
experience led not only to making great presents for my parents but we founded
the 'rocsoc' or rocketry club and we made small rocket parts and launched the
rocket from the school football field in keeping with the critical
making argument
this clearly 'empowered' me and let me to become an astronomical
instrument maker-
ironically the 'shop' classes were a residue from england's industrial
which let to development of apprentice programs in school contexts - i even got
to write computer programs on IBM puncards in 1967

it also was the case that my father had a worshop with machine tools at home
so i really grew up in a making culture ( i remember building wind
mills with my father

so whats new as emphasised by matt in his essay

is the transformation due to open source open access and a whole
ecology of access outside
of formal instutions- and the whole range of new production tools from
3d p;rinting to digital media-
and the enabling of making collaborations in a variety of ways

matt argues :

Working against the instrumental or exhibitory impulse has meant that
these engagements have been purposefully liminal, frangible events
focused on process rather than product and with the main value accrued
by participants rather than observers.

I continue to believe in the value of a certain distance from the
dominant forms of science and art and the critical and creative
insights that can be generated by maintaining a kind of epistemic
freedom from the commitments described above.

in the whole art-science-technology discussion as i have pointed out
the force of the art/science/creativity/innovation/entrepreneurs/
jobs/employment discourse

at the Dec 2 meeting at the US national academy of science

tom rudin pointed out:
"In a critical reflection on world history, the German philosopher
Karl Jaspers observed how in the first millennium BCE, human cultures
in Asia and Europe independently underwent a profound transformation
that he named the Axial Age. Thinkers as diverse as Confucius, Laozi,
Buddha, Socrates, and the Hebrew prophets began to ask what it means
to be human. Humans no longer simply accepted whatever ways of life
they were born into; they began to subject their cultures to critical
assessment. Today we are entering a new Axial Age, one in which we no
longer simply accept the physical world into which we are born. But
engineering makes almost no effort to give engineers—or any of the
rest of us—the tools to reflect on themselves and their
world-transforming enterprise."

would it be too much to suggest that the 'critical making' movement is
part of the new Axial age

roger malina

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