Trapped in a Box

November 26, 2014

Bild seminarium 5

Reflections after reading “Unfinished Work – From Cyborg to Cognisphere” by N. Katherine Hayles in Theory, Culture & Society 2006.

I found her sentence “What we make and what (we think) we are co-evolve together” at page 164 engaging. First she describes how the sentence performs without the part “we think” inside the brackets. The sentence illustrates the co-evolution of human and technology. They are continuously forming and changing each other. The human invent a tool which affects the human body both culturally and biologically.

Then she put the part “we think” back into the sentence. The purpose is to show the importance culture has on the evolution of technology. It is not only that we act on technology which acts back on us. Culture, or presumptions of what the world is, affects which tools we invent and how we use them. Culture acts on us. We act on technology. Technology acts on us and culture. Everything acts, reacts and affects each other all the time. In an intertwined spiral of co-evolution, as Hayles put it. With that in mind one could rearrange the well known sentence “form follows function” to “form follows culture”.

Hornsberg strand, my posthuman site, is a fully programmed park, all the way down to the smallest part. In the design the program is shown too obviously. The first idea that comes to ones mind is that the concept “form follows function” is fully applied. But how are the functions decided?

The cultural beliefs of what a waterside park for recreation should look like and a certain expectation of what kind of people and what kind of behaviour there will be (or they want there to be) in the park has affected the design.

There are also a lot of financial forces in charge which have had an impact on the design, which I discuss in the text Hiding behind a mask, but cultural expectations have also played an important role in the design process. The strong indications of expected behaviour shown in the design makes one feel trapped in a box. It feels as if one has to follow the ideas of how to behave intended by the design. This means one is bound to perform the acts of the functions and one is not allowed to move outside of the border of expected actions and behaviours.

Lovisa Wallgren


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: