Digital Design Curator Natalie Kane

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.