Haunted ma­chines is a part of the Future Everything Festival which hap­pens every year.

Why do we use mag­i­cal ter­mi­nol­ogy, gu­rus, dea­mons etc. to talk about tech­nol­ogy Com­pa­nies keep for­ward­ing this idea of tech be­ing magic (It just works) People try­ing to ra­tio­nalise weird tech ex­pe­ri­ences (ie. tar­geted ads) with fa­ble-like sto­ries

Haunted ma­chines and wicked prob­lems

All of this belongs to you All of this be­longs to you at the V&A

At a time when Britain was en­gaged in the de­mo­c­ra­tic process of an elec­tion, the V&A ex­am­ined the role of pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions in con­tem­po­rary life and what it means to be re­spon­si­ble for a na­tional col­lec­tion

Curator of Digital Design” is a new role Try­ing to de­fine what dig­i­tal de­sign is (on some level all de­sign to­day is net­worked and dig­i­tal) and how you deal with it in a mu­seum, how you col­lect it. Digital de­sign is all of these things:

Some ex­amp­ples of stuff the V&A has ac­quired



WeChat is in­ter­est­ing be­cause all these other ser­vices fold into it (you can do doc­tors ap­point­ments through it, pay for stuff, or­der food), plus it’s good to see stuff that’s im­por­tant in otehr cul­tures.

How do you col­lect an app? You have an .apk file from dif­fer­ent points in time, they like to get the first ver­sion (2011) and a more re­cent one (2016) but that does­n’t re­ally give you an idea of what it’s like us­ing the app when it’s full of data etc.

Decided to col­lect stuff around it, ie. mar­ket­ing gifs, sketches, recorded video demos. Tried at one point to ac­quire some­ones com­plete pro­file, but the prob­lem with that is that you have to get per­mis­sion from every other per­son they ever in­ter­acted with.

How we col­lected WeChat

Gyenno Spoon

The spoon that helps peo­ple with Parkinson’s. (More about the spoon)

Selife Stick

Really con­tentious ob­jects, peo­ple throw them off bridges, snap them off with pli­ers and such.

Rapid Response Collecting is a new thing the V&A does where they col­lect ob­jects in real time” as they be­come rel­e­vant. This is a good NYT ar­ti­cle on it

3d printed han­dle­bars con­ver­sa­tion about 3d print­ing, I guess the cy­clist guy go sued

Liberator Gun The Liberator is the first 3d-printed gun. The V&A printed one, which was a huge le­gal is­sue be­cause you’re not even al­lowed to have the file on your com­puter or send it over the in­ter­net, or print the ac­tual gun. The ac­tual col­lec­tion item is the 3d file, the phys­i­cal ob­ject is just an ex­pres­sion of it. Here’s the col­lec­tion record

Amazon Terminal is a com­puter that Amazon ware­house work­ers wear on their arm. It tells you where to walk to do things as quickly as pos­si­ble, mea­sures if you walk quick enough. Example of peo­ple be­ing an ex­ten­sion of a ma­chine.

Louboutin Nudes Louboutin Nudes that come in dif­fer­ent ver­sions for dif­fer­ent skin tones (before skintone” mean white). Collection en­try

Louboutin Nudes Katy Perry Fake Eyelashes are mar­keted as hand­made, ar­tisi­nal - they are, but by peo­ple mak­ing 15p a day. Collection record

Architectural Spikes Are de­signed to keep home­less peo­ple away. People re­spond to this by fill­ing them up with con­crete etc. Collection Record

Pussy Hat Object that came as a re­sult of on­line ac­tivism, you could down­load the pat­tern. Pussyhat’ ac­quired for Rapid Response Collection

New Yorker ar­ti­cle on this

No Man’s Sky. The prob­lem here is that the game is pro­ce­du­rally gen­ner­ated, so you can’t pos­si­bly col­lect all of it”. Maybe the best way is to just have peo­ple play it.

Bloomberg Terminal. Desktop com­puter that shows stocks and shares, spe­cial key­board. The prob­lem is that it’s use­less with no data in it, so do you put fake data in it? (Why don’t you just put it on the real in­ter­net? I guess mu­seum lo­gis­tics)

How do you show all this stuff in a lan­guage that peo­ple un­der­stand? Hyper Stacks is a thing that uses ML to make on-the-fly con­nec­tions be­tween items in the V&A col­lec­tion.

Digital Design Weekend

How do you keep dig­i­tal cul­tures in a mu­seum, where stuff usu­ally gets arhived and never touched again?

Emulation vs Encounter Emulation is okay some­times, ie. run Windows 95 in a VM to let peo­ple use old soft­ware. But does that re­ally help you un­der­stand what things were like in 1995?

Webrecorder al­lows you to record on­line in­ter­ac­tions.

Chelsea Manning 3d por­traits of Chelsea Manning gen­er­ated from DNA (DNA Phenotyping). The mar­gin of er­ror here is mas­sive, way to talk about teh ob­jec­tiv­ity of data.

This will be part of The Future Starts Here in 2018.

How do you show a net­work, a col­lec­tion, al­go­rith­mic bias in a mu­seum? The mu­seum should be as much about spec­u­la­tion as it is about pre­serv­ing his­tory.