Next Nature Networks

We so often hear of artists and designers encouraging care and sustainability, but rarely do we acquire the tools to practice how this might occur on a day-by-day basis.

At a time of greater and ever deeper concentration and impact of emergent technologies on contemporary culture, this paper presentation discusses online pedagogy and projects relating to the crossover between ubiquitous networks, artistic practice, and the design sphere, with a particular awareness of extraction technologies and holistic computing. Through examples I demonstrate ways that are contributing to the restoration of diverse spaces of sociability and kinship. Bearing in mind that emerging technological systems are also a social and cultural construct, focusing on bodies and materials and how they assemble is embedded in palpable practices around technologies that are reimagining the systems in which we are living within.

The mere touch of a simulated keyboard is enough to summon vast networks of global information. Attending to the politics of feminist co-design can guide us towards a more situated and holistic awareness of the material substrates in the network topologies procured in such acts. In doing so we can understand just how visceral the Internet is, and of what has to be done, so it can be pluralistically codesigned otherwise. I will propose the circumstances under which these networks formulate new challenges and pave the way for nascent perspectives and strategies for optimising our carbon footprint as we embrace the fourth industrial revolution. By examining what other customs are possible when we realign our grip from the fidelities of calculating infrastructures that prod us, to tacitly embrace complementary systems. The main objective is therefore to consider the way in which networked infrastructure have contributed to both the destruction and creation of new ecologies and stimulates diverse innovations in pedagogy related to artistic production, design practices, cultural spaces and a new kind of species that exist with/in us.

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