Cedric Price: Technology Is the Answer, but What Was the Question? (1966/2015) [English/Greek]

5 December 2018, dusan

““Technology is defined in the Oxford dictionary as the science of industrial art.” Cedric Price affirmed in 1966 at the beginning of his lecture entitled ‘Technology is the answer, but what was the question?’. The lecture speaks about the Fun Palace, the transdisciplinary cultural centre that Price designed in 1960 for Joan Littlewood.

The Fun Palace, which was never realised, is emblematic of our own era. It lends itself more to the choreography of 21st century time-based exhibitions than to the object- based displays of the 20th century; it fosters a more communal experience, largely free to operate outside its material limits, and ventures into other realms of human experience. In Price’s own words, “a 21st century museum will utilize calculated uncertainty and conscious incompleteness to produce a catalyst for invigorating change whilst always producing the harvest of the quiet eye”.”

With an Introduction by Lorenza Baroncelli
Published 2015
[43] pages

Editor

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Benjamin H. Bratton: The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty (2016)

10 November 2016, dusan

“What has planetary-scale computation done to our geopolitical realities? It takes different forms at different scales—from energy and mineral sourcing and subterranean cloud infrastructure to urban software and massive universal addressing systems; from interfaces drawn by the augmentation of the hand and eye to users identified by self—quantification and the arrival of legions of sensors, algorithms, and robots. Together, how do these distort and deform modern political geographies and produce new territories in their own image?

In The Stack, Benjamin Bratton proposes that these different genres of computation—smart grids, cloud platforms, mobile apps, smart cities, the Internet of Things, automation—can be seen not as so many species evolving on their own, but as forming a coherent whole: an accidental megastructure called The Stack that is both a computational apparatus and a new governing architecture. We are inside The Stack and it is inside of us.

In an account that is both theoretical and technical, drawing on political philosophy, architectural theory, and software studies, Bratton explores six layers of The Stack: Earth, Cloud, City, Address, Interface, User. Each is mapped on its own terms and understood as a component within the larger whole built from hard and soft systems intermingling—not only computational forms but also social, human, and physical forces. This model, informed by the logic of the multilayered structure of protocol “stacks,” in which network technologies operate within a modular and vertical order, offers a comprehensive image of our emerging infrastructure and a platform for its ongoing reinvention.

The Stack is an interdisciplinary design brief for a new geopolitics that works with and for planetary-scale computation. Interweaving the continental, urban, and perceptual scales, it shows how we can better build, dwell within, communicate with, and govern our worlds.”

Publisher MIT Press, 2016
Software Studies series
ISBN 9780262029575, 026202957X
xx+502 pages

Reviews: Mercedes Bunz (Media Culture Society, 2016), Roger Whitson (2016), Marc Tuters (Computational Culture, 2017).
Commentary: McKenzie Wark (Public Seminar, 2016), Lukáš Likavčan (Artalk, 2017).

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Publisher
WorldCat

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Your Private Sky: R. Buckminster Fuller: The Art of Design Science (1999)

14 August 2016, dusan

“‘Bucky’ was one of the most revolutionary technological visionaries of this century. As an architect, engineer, entrepreneur, poet, he was a quintessentially American, self-made man. But he was also an outsider: a technologist with a poet’s imagination who already developed theories of environmental control in the thirties (“more with less”) and anticipated the globalization of our planet (“think global – act local”).

This visual reader documents and examines Fuller’s theories, ideas, designs, and projects. It also takes an analytical look at his ideology of technology as the panacea. With numerous illustrations, many published here for the first time, as well as texts by Fuller and the editors.

The publication presents Buckminster Fuller’s creations as a dazzling expression of this unconditionally optimistic technocrat whose vision of driverless Spaceship Earth led him to examine the principles of maximizing effects in the most diverse sectors of design and construction.”

Edited by Joachim Krausse and Claude Lichtenstein
Translated by Steven Lindberg and Julia Thorson
Publisher Lars Müller, Baden, 1999
ISBN 3907044886, 9783907044889
528 pages
via ExP

Review: John Martinson (Geographical Review 2001).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (no OCR, 68 MB)