Speculate Research Before it can be Researched

I specifically address the production of videos depicting imagined futures. I argue such videos are the means and media for rendering the presence of a future.

I strongly connect with Kinsley’s discussion on videography  representation of technology in future visions. The element of creating a working visual allows the work to be more tangible, and believable to the viewer. It becomes “real,” and allows for a plausible idea to become a possible, and believable reality, even if just for a short segment of time within the video. The thread pulling ideas and their implementation is tightened in a deliverable that provides concept in visual, audio, and interactive form.

A physical prototype has a more immediate material intensity and yet both the physical and the image based are “performative materialised artefacts” (Michael, 2000, page 35), for they both demonstrate and describe actions and functions, and thus render connections with existing technical knowledges.

There is something so inherently believable about watching a “future vision” in that, you may not be able to personally interact with the concept, but seeing another do so gives a sense of validity to the possibility of, and allows you to vicariously do so.

The discussion in Paul Dourish and Genevieve Bell’s piece opens an interesting conversation similar to Cameron Tonkinwise’s talk last class period. He mentioned the impact of design’s iterative feedback loop, stating the importance of speculating about basic research before it becomes possible to research. I find a similar vein to the in Dourish and Bell’s idea that, examples such as Star Trek and Planet of the Apes show the incredible design fiction imagined futures that arise before design. As quoted below, science fiction allows an outlet of current expectations, frustrations, and understandings, and utilizes them to project fictional renderings of what could be.

Reading the research literature as in some ways ‘‘fictive’’ is not intended to denigrate or dismiss it; rather, we want to draw attention to the ways in which both science fiction and the research literature are founded upon acts of collective imagination and that any imagination of a possible future is grounded in expectations, frustrations, and understandings of the present.


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