Tuesday, January 09, 2007

fetish objectification and technological singularity

Scheherazade by EuanUglow
"...we treat people as objects, and objects as people."
- excerpt from the book Haunted by chuck palahniuk

so... there were some cool little toys that came out today to keep all the masses rabid for tech gear and virtual entertainment.
we find it fascinating that the design of certain objects can make them more appealling-even lusted after. while the devices themselves are merely infrastructural nodes for tele-communication, "their" physicality and operation tend to make us personify "them. " think about it one step further: the work of a machine is doing the tasks of 100 people, or in this case let's say one very, very, very talented individual. so instead of the rationale that the computer/monitor in front of you is a souless piece of silicon, we associate it's functions to human qualities for the sake of our psychological health. now think about it another step further: that very, very, very talented personification that sorts your emails, shows you videos, and draws your buildings is actually a person staring right back at you. all the sorting, filing, saving, and deleting are conversations with a colleague.
too far? maybe...
but maybe if we didn't treat these things as people, we would feel more alone than ever, and would go insane.
and then there's the big picture: technological singularity. what does this mean for the future of man and machine. will it be man vs. machine?, man loves machine?, or man-machine?

“Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ’intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.”
can we apply this outlook to our built environment? what kind of structures could exist beyond the event of technological singularity? can they even be labelled as "buildings" after that? and does anyone really give a F?

in the mean time head over to the flckr pool which highlights photos taken of architectural models. then appreciate the craftmanship of the humans that made them, and be glad you haven't been replaced by a machine...yet. luckily, architects still practice in the weirder realm of objectifying ideas as buildings.

No comments: