I started my full time PHD in January, has been a bit of a slow start because I’m still working full time, my contract finishes in 7 weeks. I’m looking at the social shaping of technology, social tech, Radical Software and Radical Networks.
I’m currently writing my research proposal for my PHD. I hadn’t planned on doing one, but my stint at Megacorp gave me more than enough fire in the head to write a thesis. I’ve been busy preparing for a couple of shows, and I’m happily settled back in the UK for a while.
I just spent the last 4 months working for one of the largest tech companies in the world. It was a truly alienating and depressing experience. I signed a million NDA’s so can’t talk too much about it – other than it was working on Natural Language Processing. On the plus side, I learnt some cool things about AI, on the negative, being in a super monitored pressured and monitored environment was pretty dehumanizing. Being inside one of the biggest machine entities has really made me question the pervasiveness of algorithmic thinking, particularly the lack of awareness of algorithmic interference in our daily lives.
The promise is better living through technology, but my overall impression of the reality is the illusion of choice in a coded environment to direct/control human behaviour.
Anyway, I’m free from the tyranny of Megacorp, and bursting at the seems with ideas for new work. I’m living in a rural seaside town in Ireland and taking the time to draw things out.
As always, I’m pushing my own boundaries in terms of making and this is equally exciting and nauseating. Sometimes, I look at the work of my peers, and see an unbroken line of experimentation – and I am envious! The consistency and pursuit to a particular style/material/theme… the mastery! So, I’m going to try to focus my energy a bit more and refine the overall theme of my work this year. I’m also going to push myself with different media.
It’s been 2 weeks since I started my stay here at Konstepidemin. It’s a fantastic opportunity to have time away from London to focus on my project and refine it.
I’ve identified a whole list of activities for the next few months to explore the theme of Thigmotropism.
There are few affordable makerspaces in the city, so I find myself drawn to embroidery as a medium. There is a sewing shop at the bottom of the hill! I’ve also identified two potential sites for site specific works.
Being on a longer residency is fantastic because I don’t feel pressured to push out work.
I’ve got some dates for opem
I tried to run the community mapping workshop on Wednesday, but had a very poor turnout. There are a few factors that affected turnout:
Researcher and outsider fatigue: The Christianian’s have been very generous with their time with me in general, but they are quite wary and bored with outsiders in general.
The newspaper: I missed the deadline for the community newspaper (by an hour or so) and this is is main way of communicating!
The weather: It was an unusually hot day, I saw a couple of people whom I hoped would attend sitting outside having a relaxing beer in the sun. (It was October, and people were able to sunbathe, I get it!)
Flier Fatigue: I made posters, I put them up in all of the strategic spots, like the post office, by the bathhouse, shop, everyday spots, but I’ll make more next time!
I’ve tried to put another ad in the paper on time, hopefully it will make it this time!