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Techno-utopias

This category contains 8 posts

Looking backwards

What does the Apple Watch announcement this week have in common with Scottish independence? Both claim to be about time, both promise unlimited potential, and neither seems particularly necessary. In fact technology and politics converge nicely on the theme of utopia. Like a lot of tech, the publicity videos for the not-yet Apple Watch reinforce the benefits of the device … Continue reading

Vitruvius does steampunk

Steampunk is an aesthetic movement that visualises the future as predicted during the Industrial Revolution … or as we imagine it might have been predicted. Think of flying to the moon in a space vehicle clad in steel plates and sliding windows held together by heavy bolts and rivets, and propelled by the properties of … Continue reading

Sequel-baiting

Sequel-baiting is the practice by film-makers to construct their plots in a way that encourages audience demand for a sequel. As well as cliff-hanger endings, there’s the technique of introducing characters and subplots that require follow-up once the main story is over.

Reality re-structured

Mass media entertainment gives the word “reality” a real hammering. Hammering provides a useful metaphor. One of the ways the empirically minded commonly assert the incontrovertible reality of the world is to thump on something solid. Catching up with just 15 minutes of the BAFTA winning “structured reality” tv show The Only Way is Essex … Continue reading

Now is the winter of our disconnect

We live in a connected world, ie everything is, or has the potential to be, connected to everything else. The Internet makes this connectivity palpable. But the web of all things is hardly a new view of the universe.

Hygienic reality

Many people take it for granted that we occupy two worlds: the physical and the virtual. In 1997 MIT digital researchers Ishii and Ullmer  stated that people potentially “live between two realms: our physical environment and cyberspace” (Ishii and Ullmer, 1997). They took on the challenge of  developing digital devices that connect the two spaces together.

Computer images and realism

Computer graphics and animation are remarkable in their ability to mimic reality, or so it seems. Such technologies are interesting in so far as they purvey unreality, or more precisely, for making presentations to audiences that are unlike everyday experiences — features of narrative, drama and film in any case, but exaggerated further in the … Continue reading

The Future is Unremarkable

This blog post is derived from an article I wrote in response to a request from the Students’ Society of Architecture, Jadavpur University, India, in 2008.

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