As the second decade of the twenty-first century draws to a close, the cultural, social, and economic effects of artificial intelligence are becoming ever more apparent. Much current research rightfully emphasizes the statistical lineages of current machine learning techniques and engages with the significance of training data in producing more just modes of pattern recognition. Exchanges between cognitive neuroscience and artificial intelligence research are often overlooked, despite or because of their long-intertwined histories and a long list of faulty analogies between brains and computers – but they exist.
In his new book «Cognitive Code», Johannes Bruder provides some insights into shared epistemologies and contemporary interactions between the brain sciences and AI. An emphasis is placed on the work of methodologists and programmers, who are tasked with modeling information processing in human brains or implementing mind wandering in machine learning algorithms. Psychic lives and high tech imaginaries meet in the medium of code.
Read parts of the introduction in the most recent issue of Queen’s Quarterly.
Entwerfen mit System
In the design discourses and practices around 1960 systematic methods of designing played a significant role. In movements like the Design Methods Movement or the Creativity Movement scientific-rational principles were applied to the process of design. Products, ideas and inventions should be conceived in similarly systematic fashion. Simultaneously, an orientation towards systems and systematic design can also be seen in the arts.
In this publication, Claudia Mareis and Michael Rottmann discuss this historical phenomenon from two perspectives. On the one hand, they ask how the creativity and method discourse spreading from the USA in the post-war period fostered an equation of creativity with (supposed) productivity. On the other hand, they look into ways how the media conditions and limits of systematic design and creation methods have been reflected and criticized in the field of art and design.
Published in the series Studienhefte Problemorientiertes Design, edited by Jesko Fezer, Oliver Gemballa, and Matthias Görlich. In German.
Augmented Spaces and Maps
With the convergence of space, media and design not only design practices change radically but also the surfaces that are to be designed: Digital maps offer an interface to the physical world and allow novel forms of navigation and experience of space. At the same time, the new role of internet companies as cartographers raises questions about inequalities and hegemonial claims built into their digital services.
This book is an introduction in the field of digital cartographies. It sketches out important influences, theories and approaches, and, through current examples, shows how map-based interfaces can work. These foundations also offer inspiration for critical and experimental approaches relevant for designers and other practitioners in the field.
In German. Available as Open Access.
Study, Not Critique
Study, Not Critique considers the fine line between self-determined knowledge production and a commodified form of critique. The book examines three journals from the 1970s, 1990s and 2010s, each of which stands for a different political and aesthetic agenda: The Fox (New York, 1975-1976), A.N.Y.P. (Munich and Berlin, 1989-1999) and e-flux journal (New York, 2008-present). In distinct ways, each publishing project blurs the border separating artistic production and discursive production while simultaneously attending to new forms of discipline and commodification arising in the process. Lucie Kolb demonstrates the connection between common intellectual activity in the art field, which takes place in this field but is not of it, and work on the conditions of production.
Partly media archaeological sketch, partly system poetry, this artist book compiles a subjective selection of so-called ›textonyms‹ – a side effect of T9 encoding technology. T9 (short for ›text on 9 keys‹) is a predictive text technology developed in 1995. It was designed to optimize text entry on 3×4 numeric cell phone keypads commonly used at that time. On these standard 12-key layouts the number keys from ›2‹ to ›9‹ are assigned to a group of three to four letters each. In T9, a sequence of single keystrokes is matched against a stored dictionary. Words associated to the entered sequence of numbers are then presented to the user to choose from. Coincidentally and inherent to the working principle of T9, one sequence of keystrokes can potentially represent many different words. This guide book compiles an incomplete and subjective selection of these ›textonyms‹ to be found in the English language. It exposes the collateral poetry, incidental truisms, and semantic comedy that are latently lurking in encoding and compression technologies like T9.
How to Build A Lie
How to Build a Lie experiments with artistic research practice that tries to escape disciplinary boundaries and look to as many aspects of a single technology, media, or topic as it can. This extra-disciplinary practice, as Brian Holmes and others have intimated, intersects with media and technology to direct artistic work toward institutional critique without aesthetic distance. How to Build a Lie is gonzo media studies that engages directly, physically, and operationally with the technological structures that frame our lives. What would it be to do research, but include the material engagements and framings of media, as a kind of hands-on technical inquiry?
The text of this book was presented as a lecture on May 16, 2016, as part of Jamie Allen’s exhibit How to Build a Lie: Apocryphal Technologies & Works at the Dateline gallery in Denver, and is supported by the Media Archaeology Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Theorien des Designs
Design practices and artifacts are ubiquitous. From a theoretical perspective the notion of design is taking on greater significance recently. Today, it goes far beyond the mere aesthetic embellishment of consumer products. In fact, design theories address that on a fundamental level realities are made. By that, they open an interdisciplinary field of research that exceed traditional notions of design as arts-and-crafts. This volume by head of IXDM Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis is an introduction in pivotal design theories of the 20th century. It sketches out approaches and models that postulate an extended notion of design and establish interfaces to the humanities, science of technology as well as to society.
Von der Dampf- zur Nebelmaschine
The use history of converted industrial monuments can be negotiated by way of scenographic methods and strategies borrowed from contemporary theater. Christine Schranz shows how former everyday values are transformed in this way into cultural values. Using the production of scenographic spaces, it is possible to identify interactive, narrative, and media dramaturgy, along with scenarios as interdisciplinary alternative plans to concepts of communication which are as yet primarily didactically-oriented.
Design als Wissenskultur
Design is increasingly regarded as an autonomous knowledge culture. This view on one hand follows certain epistemological premises, on the other hand promotes strategic interests concerning the autonomy of the field. Thereby, demarcated borders between design, art, and science are questioned and renegotiated under the notion of a design turn. In her book, Claudia Mareis retraces interferences between design and knowledge discourses since the Design Methods Movement in the 1960s. She contributes to the understanding of historical influences that shaped the debates around knowledge in design theory and research of today.