about micros and macros

The theme for this semesters textiles self-directed project was Alchemy, as we were asked to undergo a process of transforming and manipulating materials, bringing diverse textiles together to form something new.

From the outset of the project I knew I wanted to use old clothes and found fabric as my main material. I wanted to explore the attachment I hold with these fabrics as I never immediately dispose of clothes once they have no more use. This gave me the desire to present these textiles in a way that shows that they still hold value and beauty, instead of hiding them away, usually stashed in the corner of my room, giving them new purpose.

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your toaster is watching you- internet of things

Heading towards the future, we are moving towards an internet of things, which encapsulates physical objects connecting to the internet and becoming tangibly social able. These objects gain a sensory capacity allowing them to dynamically register changes to their environment, they store and process information as well as independently initiate action.

In 2008, the number of things connected to the internet exceeded the number of people on earth.  “Once (these) “Things” are connected to the Internet, they can only but become enrolled as active, worldly participants by knitting together, facilitating and contributing to networks of social exchange and discourse, and rearranging the rules of occupancy and patterns of mobility within the physical world.” These objects, for example, have capabilities such as tracking a human’s blood pressure and heart rate and connecting this information to other devices to track health for insurance purposes, or an alarm clock that can alter a person’s wake up time in consideration of external, time effecting instances.

When it is not only “us” but also our “Things” that can upload, download, disseminate and stream meaningful and meaning-making stuff, how does the way in which we occupy the physical world become different?” It raises questions on the experience of a place, the perception of objects and being human.

1984toaster

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bullets of truth everywhere -digital resistance

As the internet, being a distributed system, allowed individual nodes to broadcast to the entire network, the rise of cyber libertarianism occurred referring “to the belief that individuals—acting in whatever capacity they choose (as citizens, consumers, companies, or collectives)—should be at liberty to pursue their own tastes and interests online.

From the outset, decryption was seen as a game of codes and secrets, it gave cracking codes a playful element. The revolution of the PC lead to the appearance of hacker culture and the first settlers of the wild west, or electronic frontier. This game turned into something else as the information being extracted was like forbidden fruit, one hacker describing it as “heroin through an addict’s veins”.

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my voice is higher than your voice- the social network revolutions

When considering social media as a tool, its power comes from connectivity. Participation in the use of this kind of dialogic media is both self-rewarding and addictive, which leads to people wanting to be heard. Because of this, the internet has turned into a political space due to its fast mobilization, mass involvement and scalable openness.

These features have led to social media becoming an important tool in coordinating protests and demonstrations. This was clearly seen in Ukraine during the Euromaidan protests as social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter were used “for coordinating protest activities and sharing information, to inform protesters about urgent news and issues, discuss plans of future actions, warn against using violence, share advice on how to deal with police forces, and much more.” As the response and utility of social media become obvious and much better organised and aggregated, use extended out to people offering legal and medical advice online.

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tweeter turned journalist – bridges made of pebbles

As we shifted towards a more distributed media mode of communication and away from legacy media, consumers became prosumers, as participation is its own reward. “The emergence of such produsage is further enabled by a shift towards a more equitable media environment which allows all participants to both receive and send information, on an (almost) equal basis.” Data is growing at a 40% compound annual rate, this doesn’t just mean the amount of information is increasing, but also the speed. Industrial media feedback loops are too slow to keep up with modern media channels, mainly social media.

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