Technological Dreaming

‘Ten Dreams Of Technology’ by Steve Dietz is the last ever reading for Networked Media, and it’s also probably one of my favourites.

The reading, from 2002, describes what happens when art and technology intersect, giving ten examples of the speculative thinking that we’ve focused on this semester in artistic works.

This is relevant because, as Dietz states, “artists were among the earliest and most active participants to recognise the potential of the internet”. These pieces of art won’t end up predicting the future, but they do display a plausible and somewhat realistic idea of what it could be, and this has been such a focus in Netmed.

One of my favourites was ‘The Dream Of Symbiosis’, detailing interaction between man and machine, and postulating that by allowing each to learn from the interaction with the other, both could evolve to higher levels of functioning.

The example given is Rokeby’s ‘Giver Of Names’ from 1990, seen in this video:

This is a metaphor producer, “which invokes the awe of naming and the power of the word to create universes”.

The one that jumps out as relevant to our subject is ‘The Dream Of Emergence’, which describes a “notion of networks as an extended or augmented nervous system out of which intelligence eventually and inevitably emerges”.

‘The Dream Of Immersion’ describes a virtual reality of sorts, with artworks that the viewer is totally immersed in. This combined well with ‘The Dream Of Transparency’, where the “computer resembles more and more its owner…with the passing of time, a computer ends up looking like its owner’s brain”, and immediately led me to think of the Google Glasses, where technology just becomes an extension of our being.

I found this reading to be a great way to sum up some of the key ideas and speculative notions that we’ve investigated in Networked Media throughout the semester.

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