//
search results

Search Results

You searched for "Art". Your search returned 484 results.

How smart are smart contracts?

Blockchain technologies such as bitcoin, support peer-to-peer monetary transactions, where lines in a shared ledger indicate payer, payee, date, amount and the goods or services to be exchanged: as is the case in a line in a bank statement. But, instead of a text line indicating  the product being exchanged, what if that line included … Continue reading

Politics as art

Art can bring into sharp relief aspects of life and the world to which people (some of us) previously paid little attention. Art can accomplish this through an ecology of signs — pointing stuff out i.e. by making direct reference. But art also informs by presenting the opposite to what we art lovers might expect as the object of … Continue reading

Smarter surfaces

Living human and animal skin is palpably different from a touch screen video display. Digital technologies lie at the far end of a spectrum that begins with completely unadorned, raw, nature as you find it (e.g. unadorned human skin, or a leaf), and stretches to the maximally manufactured, contrived, and artificial (e.g. a touch screen, or a microchip). What could be more synthetic and unnatural … Continue reading

Stupidities (Why cartoons have animals 3)

We don’t just consume animals for nutrition, but consume them culturally. They are “painted, written, construed, arranged, stuffed, chained, trained, dissected, imagined,” according to cultural theorist Randy Malamud, and this happens “with an iron-fisted sense of entitlement and control on the part of the cultural hegemons, that is, us” (2). Malamud outlines evidence of the “digital approximation of taxidermy” … Continue reading

Refugees have smartphones too

Pictures of refugees with smartphones proliferate in the press and online — sometimes with captions suggesting that smartphone owners display an affluence that excludes them from sympathy or support. There are nearly as many smartphones on the planet as there are people, and refugees have them too. But smartphones have become essential tools for survival. Like affluent, free-roaming tourists, refugees draw on GPS … Continue reading

What have the arts to do with ethics?

Ethics checklists, committees, codes of practice and approvals came late to the arts. The place of ethics in the practical arts and their study looks like an afterthought, as if peripheral to the act of creation. After all, art has to begin at least with the freedom to say and do what you want. The ethical may come later to … Continue reading

Nature versus smartphones

People are eager to extol the benefits of fresh green vegetables, education, marriage, and a walk in the countryside, but are instinctively suspicious of new technologies.  That’s the tagline selected by the editors for the cover story I wrote for Interactions Magazine published this month. Interactions is a bimonthly publication of the ACM, and sees itself … Continue reading

Born of the Earth

Androids are made not born. “Cyborg replication is uncoupled from organic reproduction,” wrote Donna Haraway. Automata are not the only beings denied parentage. Remember, “The Lord God formed man of dust from the ground” (Genesis 2:7). Fast forward 4 minutes into the recent video installation by Bill Viola in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, to see man rising from the dust of … Continue reading

Why cartoons have animals 2

Watching pet owners coach their pets to talk provides one of the more amusing diversions on YouTube. Apparently you can train a dog to say “hello” as a kind of vocalised yawn, or to growl out something like “sausages.” In a post in May 2012 I outlined 9 reasons why cartoons feature animals. Here’s a 10th reason: getting animals to talk. It’s obvious: animals (non-human) … Continue reading

Gathered round the hearth

Is this scenario familiar? You order your dinner online, wait for the home delivery, then eat it while multi-screening in front of the television and checking Facebook, while other members of the household work late, snack or play computer games in different rooms. For philosopher of technology Albert Borgmann that script signals the moral as … Continue reading

University of Edinburgh logo

Richard on Facebook

Latest FB image
Or "like" my Facebook page for blog updates.

Try a one year research degree

AHRC/EPSRC/ESRC/MRC project

book cover
book cover

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 364 other followers