On Speculative Design | Benjamin H. Bratton

The multi-dimensional universe hiding inside your head

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In discussing Alexander Bagdanov and "tektology" Wark writes the following: "Rather than unconsciously using metaphors borrowed from authoritarian or exchange relations, the wager of tektology is that it might be possible to construct a kind of low theory whose purpose is to experimentally apply understandings of one process to other quite different processes to see if they can be grasped as analogous. It is a kind of detournement that works "sideways," from field to field, rather than from past to present." Philosophy is a tool to be used, not an end in itself. This lateralization applies to an idea prevalent in my practice for some time - that there is no real end state or resolution, only periodic states of rest. When the frame is around the labor involved, or the USE of the artifact, instead of the object directly, then a sort of "mis-use" is inevitable in reference to original intent. Wark's notion of "tektology" played out in a physical/sculptural langauge. This USE plays out as a system of organization, and Wark points out that this lateralization is a form of substitution, where the organization around one context can be useful for another. "Substitution is a kind of detournement, by which the formal properties of any given activity can become the experiemental template for any other."

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Standardization is key to the formation of a platform (think legos or erector set). How would our platform deconstruct into a kit of parts (means) and what sort of "ends" might emerge? Starting with one "end" in mind, what might its deconstruction reveal, and how might that reconstruct into a new form? What is the kinetic sense of this platform?
p. 48, THE STACK criteria #6: "Platforms' mediation of User-input information may result in an increase in the value of that information for the user. Platform network effects absorb and train that information, making it more visible, more structured, and more extensible for the individual User or in relation to other Users who make further use of it, thereby increasing its social value." Jim's notes: The Library as a stack comprised of the various platforms with in it. The Library as a platform that produces emergent outcomes. This platform as a reference source for thinking about our output as a platform for emergent reaction.
p.47, THE STACK, by Benjamin Bratton. Platform criteria #1: "As opposed to other macrogovernance institutions, platforms do not work according to detailed premeditated master plans; rather they set the stage for actions to unfold through ordered emergence. Bureaucracies, by contrast, are systems that are also dependant on strict protocols and interfaces, but they operate by premodeling desired outcomes and then working backwards to codify interactions that would guarantee these: means are a function of ends. Platforms begin by fixing equally strict means but are strategically agnostic as to outcomes: ends are a function of means."

Benjamin H. Bratton

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