Friday, December 27, 2013

Dances with Objects

For some reason I love to talk philosophically or at least pseudo-philosophically about technology, and videos such as 'Design' by Glasser can trigger those downpours of thoughts:

This artist is clearly inspired by technology as well, as she moves sensuously around an essentially abstract object, exploring her relationship to it. The video shows the object changing along with her movements, unfolding its potentials and showing possible stances it may take in relationship to her. First, the object and human being are presented as essentially quite naked and empty. It shows the object being confined to nothing but empty straight lines, which is, you might say, the monolithic essence of machine-made artefacts. And the human being is confined to its organic essence, empty with nothing but animal impulses inside. These two empty containers are in a way quite ridiculous in themselves. But when the object and human being start to complement each other, dramas unfold, and the relationship deepens. It is interesting that sometimes it shows her clearly manipulating the object in order to control it, but as soon as she stops, the object takes on its own behavior again, driven by its own life force, ready for the next unfoldment in the drama. This is unlike many human beings who tend to remain obsessed with ideas of control. But the human and his objects inherently seem to dance around one another, as the relationship is more mysterious and unpredictable.

I see technology as a great mirror for humanity. It is in itself very pure and abstract, able to reflect many different things, whereas human individuals often are only able to reflect a limited number of things and that's why in our lives we need to meet all these different people, from simple fools in random bars up to the highest gurus in holy places. But a single technological artefact can potentially shift in all these forms, emotionalities, and roles, and so it could shift relationships much more powerfully and efficiently. This will lead to a next sort of modernist project, namely the automation of our inner development.

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