Lauren Britton Presentation; and What I Made

Today we were given a presentation by the creator of Makerspaces- Lauren Britton. She explained to us the process of how she first thought of the idea, and how she created her first 3d printer, and functional Makerspace. She also explained her more recent research to us about body modification, and cyborgs.

After the presentation we were tasked with creating a product  from craft supplies which can modify a part or function of the body.

My product was the Ocuaware, a pair of glasses which can either dispense a chemical which allows you to see in the dark temporarily, or upon wearing them will allow you to see in the dark as long as you wear them.

I made the goggles from pipe cleaner, buttons, paperclips, string, glue, wooden dowels, and a small cell phone camera.

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Lauren Britton- Manifesting the Cyborg

 

Important Definitions

Informatics of Domination– The normative social order in Western society rooted in the politics of race, class, and gender (as manifested in language). Informatics of Domination refers to uncovering a breakdown of binaries and boundaries, where domination becomes a structure, a behavior, an information system to be studied.

Body modification– Interventions intended to improve human function or characteristics beyond what is necessary to sustain health or repair the body. It also refers to the broad set of practices involved in deliberately altering the appearance or form of the human body,

Critical Design– Where design is used to cultivate critical perspectives about the way things are produced and consumed, specifically the cultural and social elements embedded within design.

Critical Making– critical making is when the design moves from an idea to an artifact. Critical making refers to the “hands-on productive activities that link technologies to society.”

Final Thoughts

I had never previously realized how large of a movement body modification was, and how sophisticated the technologies currently are. It seemed to me like a movement that is very against cultural norms, and empowers those who challenge the traditional structure of societal domination. Grinder tech is a company which specifies in body modification “art pieces.” They create functional pieces including the Magnetica, BioRead, TransCrania and SouthPole. Most of these pieces are simple, and still in development. The Grinder tech “citizen scientists” are starting with smaller projects with the goal of building up to larger projects. The manufacturing process is hindered by trial and error, and the scientists test the projects themselves using the help of piercers as surgeons. This movement is highly controversial as the norm is to modify your body in order to seem “normal,” not to drastically improve some aspect of your body, or mimic a cyborg.

Sources:

Manifesting the Cyborg via Techno-Body Modification: From Human Computer Interaction to Integration By Lauren Britton and Ryan Semaan