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This two-day workshop explored the subject of autonomy in a networked world. Like castaways stranded in a post-Google society, we attempted to design, build and program our own devices and appliances - using relic open source software, silicon from the waste of the smartphone industry, and post-consumer composite materials to give them shape. The outcome is a variety of prototyped devices which, ironically, reflect on the abundance of “smart” objects populating the market such as Amazon dash buttons, IoT fridges, tweeting coffee machines, etc.
The objects created are critical, funny, or genuinely useful. Containing our own software sketches (written in Processing) in their cores, and working either solitarily or in a (local-) networked fashion, they are meant to give us comfort in the times when we feel a sense of loss for our watchful corporate overlords.
“Smart mirror”, which has face recognition, is a Short Person Emulator. If you crouch, the shutters will open, so you can only see the top part of your head. When you stand up the shutters close. The mirror comes with a sink, toilet seat and base. #shortpeopleproblems #facerecognition
'''Smart 90’s phone'''
A device which gets your data for advertisers—you pay for better experiences with your own private information. It acts as a virtual assistant, coaxing you into a premium lifestyle. The object is a reverse-engineered phone which speaks to you. #phone #communication #nostalgia #ads
'''The polar bear'''
Polar bear as a symbol of irresponsible energy consumption parses data from the Spectral solar trailer and makes the bear cry when the consumption of energy is too high. #globalwarming #consciousconsumption #crying
A teapot which talks to you when you press one of its three buttons, asking you questions about life and your consumer choices. The questions are ones you don’t have time to think about in your daily life. This product is for the aspirational hyperconscious consumer. #consumerism #questions #tea #cozy
A dynamic Amazon Dash button to order products promoted on Instagram. #buttonsofinstagram #likeforlike
A demanding robot which is completely useless and constantly asks to be petted. #uselessmachines
A button, which says “I’m depressed” while not pressed, and “I’m pressed” when it’s being pressed. #buttons #depression #pressure
'''Daytime simulation lightbulb'''
Using input from the Spectral solar trailer, this lamp is on when it’s sunny outside and off when it’s cloudy. For the speculative bunker-based experience — when you cannot go outside anymore, you can experience the external climate with this lamp. #data #apocalypsescenario #impendingdoom
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