Tecnologie e Società


The Epistemological Turn: Technology, Bricolage and Design
Giuseppe O. Longo

The rapid development of technology – especially of information and communication technology – and the recognition of the essential complexity of most systems and phenomena are producing a series of crucial consequences, both theoretical and practical, among which the renunciation of the dream of perfect rationality and perfect control. As science is being surpassed by technology, in the realm of design all this is bringing about a revival of bricolage, an apparently primitive design strategy characterized by the use of second-hand materials (possibly already used for other purposes) when more appropriate materials are not available, and by the non conventional use of tools or methods designed and intended for a different use. In bricolage rationality yields to opportunism, to small advancements and immediate gain, globality yields to locality. The reappearance of bricolage involves not only the practice of design but also the way we learn and understand: in other words it brings about a crucial change in epistemology, the more so as the technological instruments called for in these practices are “mind machines”, i. e. computers and the Internet.

Climate Change

Rethinking Art as Intimate Science: Climate Art as a Hard Humanity
Roger Malina

Re-reading the “Origin of the Species” by Darwin, on its 150th anniversary, one is struck by the lucidity and humility of the argumentation as well as the transformative power of its conclusions. Yet the scientific theory of evolution is still not widely understood or accepted by most people. The climate on our planet has never been stable, and climate variations have been one of the drivers of the evolution of the species on our planet. But we have no sense for “climate”, the way we have a sense for “temperature”. Arrhenius first wrote about the impact of increasing CO2 on global climate in 1896, and yet at the highest level of government the issue was still argued until recently. Somehow the ambitious enlightenment projects of the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution are incomplete. Most scientific knowledge is not culturally appropriated. In many ways science has become a “cargo cult’. Many people use the cell phone for daily survival, but could not explain the difference between a photon and an electron. I believe that one of the reasons for this is that common science does not make common sense. As a scientist, the vast majority of the information about the world I study is mediated to my senses through scientific instruments; almost none is captured directly by my naked senses.


Bio Art
Eduardo Kac

Bio art is a new direction in contemporary art that manipulates the processes of life. Invariably, bio art employs one or more of the following approaches: 1) The coaching of biomaterials into specific inert shapes or behaviors; 2) the unusual or subversive use of biotech tools and processes; 3) the invention or transformation of living organisms with or without social or environmental integration. It is in the latter, however, that it reveals its most radical vector, precisely because it works in the living — that is, living in the most ordinary sense of the word, from a single cell to a mammal. It is in this organic sense that bio art uses the properties of life and its materials, changes organisms within their own species, or invents life with new characteristics. Bio art stakes evolutionary strategies that offer alternatives to mainstream notions of beauty (imagine a pink-spotted turquoise rose with thorns on its leaves) or singularity (imagine a photosynthesizing mammal). It may coax inert and isolated biological byproducts into unprecedented forms (visualize an entire nanoscopic city built of DNA molecules and isolated proteins) and function (consider a molecular poetry written for the umwelt of bacteria).


Political Ecology And Our Rendezvous With Death
Gerry Coulter

Discussions of political ecology today are often shrouded in an apocalyptic tone. I think this is a good thing given our history as a species which has evolved along a technological trajectory. What makes us human, perhaps more than anything else, is our elaborate tool making ability. Technology has long been crucial to what humans are and today it is not only a force we use to adapt, but one to which we must adapt. From the first pieces of flint, to parchment scrolls, the characters of languages, libraries, atomic devices, computers, all the way down to the digitalization of genetic codes, technology has been vital to our destiny as a species. After the first piece of flint was secured to a piece of wood to make an axe (for hunting and for murder), there was no turning back. We are neither innately good nor evil and we partake generously of both. The axe and the hammer contain as much evidence of who we are as does any “Holy Book”. As we look toward the future of life on earth we can depend upon humans to do both good and evil but we cannot necessarily be depended upon to act wisely and in our long term best interest.


The Car of the Future
Alan N. Shapiro and Alan Cholodenko

The "Car of the Future" is a Transformer (movie toys and action figures; device that transfers electrical energy between circuits) that changes its shape. This could be done with mechanical, electronic, and electromechanical technologies. Smaller modular units of the car, perhaps pods belonging to individuals, will combine together to form social vehicles. The "Car of the Future" will flexibly alter its basic planar orientation between horizontal and vertical. It will transform its shape as it exits the highway and enters the city. When in the city, it will only be 55% as wide as today's cars. It transforms into a double-decker with four passenger compartments: lower front, lower rear, upper front, and upper rear. Each compartment is about as wide as the seat of a golf cart, and can comfortably accommodate one or two persons. Up to 8 persons can ride in the car. The driver sits in the lower front compartment. There is a retractable electric stoop on the exterior side of the car that goes up and down like a small elevator platform, enabling access to the upper compartments. The engine turns vertical with the car, or is small enough to not need to be rotated.



Cerca dentro NOEMA - Search in NOEMA

Iscriviti! - Join!