Thursday, November 19, 2009
I really enjoyed Chris Csikszentmihályi’s lecture on Tuesday, particularly his project developing open source protest robots. On one level I liked the cheeky and rebellious attitude of these little robots disbursed to dispense political unrest. But I didn’t really like that with this approach in which it seems like most of the energy invested is going towards creating the mode of protest, instead of actually protesting or making a statement. While I was really taken with Csikszentmihályi’s perspectives on innovation in how innovation within the status quo can be more of a regressive force than a progressive one, I found this specific case a little problematic. I wonder if this is an example of how innovation – the mix of technological construction with political protest – might actually take away from the potential outcome (in this case, political change). I guess I’m wondering what the tension or relationship is between this drive for innovation (just for the sake of innovation) versus a more research or evidence based production? Also, how does this more personalized, individualized mechanical production of political protest counter or undermine the power of the crowd/mass that the florc or Terranova texts discuss?