by Chris Novello (cnovello at risd)
A studio workgroup for urgent concerns in computers & representation.
Three decades ago, the Macintosh dropped a sci-fi bomb on pop culture. It advertised a utopic vision of human-computer creativity to mass audiences. By remixing military-industrial-academic fragments, a product company sold the dream of new humanism. This decade, the planet is bursting with smartphones; billions of people will carry globally-networked pocket computers, each outfitted with sensors that datify the material world. We now have quantities, rates, and kinds of data unlike anything humankind has ever seen. Individual biological minds can't reason at network scale, so we're teaching fields of computers to do it instead. If the data center is today's mainframe, is there a Macintosh hiding in the next decade? If your phone's camera is the next mouse, what will it click on? As machine learning reinvents humanism, what are 21st century creative tools? What do network literacy and 21st century citizenship look like? Is the programmer/user dichotomy destroyable? How much of this is just a design problem? We'll explore these topics with studio work and seminar-style discussion. Studio work will include creation of mockups, videos, webmedia, interaction design, and beyond. Prototypes and design fictions are welcome. Programming experience is not explicitly required. Sincere eagerness to rigorously engage and reorient computer culture is a must.