Book > Design research about the cloud, a creative process and its results

More than a year after our last publication on this blog and the end of the scientific part of the design research Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s), we’re very happy to signal the publication of two books in Print on Demand (Lulu) and their accompanying free PDFs.

One book concerns the ethnographic the ethnographic research: Cloud of Practicies, while the other is dedicated to the design research and its results and uses many of the resources published on this blog along the process: Cloud of Cards.

A website gives access to the results of the research in the form of a kit: www.cloudofcards.org

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Cloud of Cards:

Download the free PDF on the Cloud of Cards website (under “Publications” link), or buy the paperback version on Lulu.

Graphic design by Eurostandard; Photography of the final artifacts by Daniela & Tonatiuh.

 

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Book > Ethnographic field study about the cloud

More than a year after our last publication on this blog and the end of the scientific part of the design research Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s), we’re very happy to signal the publication of two books in Print on Demand (Lulu) and their accompanying free PDFs.

One book concerns the ethnographic the ethnographic research: Cloud of Practices, while the other is dedicated to the design research and its results and uses many of the resources published on this blog along the process: Cloud of Cards.

A website gives access to the results of the research in the form of a kit: www.cloudofcards.org

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Cloud of Practices:

Download the free PDF on the Cloud of Cards website (under “Publications” link), or buy the paperback version on Lulu.

Graphic design by Eurostandard; Photography of the final artifacts by Daniela & Tonatiuh.

 

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Cloud of Cards. The (coming) book

A sneak peek into the coming book that will present and discuss the design process as well as  its results, sorted out from this documentary blog. Design EUROSTANDARD with a new font by NORM.

 

As announced a few times already, two books in print-on-demand will summarize the overall research Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s), at the term of the design and ethnographic process we went through during almost three years.

I&IC’s public survey of 356 links related to “Clouds” on Pinboard – last updated 03.2017

Along the design research, we are going through many different types of references that we don’t necessarily post or document on the blog. We usually only post about the ones that we consider relevant to the research process, which doesn’t mean the other ones are not interesting. We’ve just decided not to dig deeper into them at some point, or to keep some of them for later.

Yet, this is a consistent amount of survey that we are leaving on the side of the road and that could possibly be useful for similar or later researches. At least a good starting point… That’s why we’ve created this i&ic_designresearch tag on Pinboard.

Interestingly, some new thematics emerged along the way within these links, like for example on the technological branch, the combination of personal cloud based services, peer to peer protocols and blockchains that were not on the radar when we started our research.

 

I&IC design research at “Bot Like Me” conference, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris

Note: At the invitation of Sophie Lamparter (Swissnex San Francisco) and Luc Meier (EPFL ArtLab), we had the pleasure to present the current process and outcomes of our joint design research project in Paris, at Centre Culturel Suisse (CCS). This helped us collect meaningful impressions and comments about the ongoing work.

The conference was given last Friday and Saturday (02-03.12) in the company and attendance of an excellent line up (!Mediengruppe Bitnik, Nicolas Nova, Yves Citton, Tobias Revell & Nathalie Kane, Rybn, Joël Vacheron, Gwenola Wagon, Hannes Grasseger, I&IC’s research assistants Lucien Langton & Léa Pereyre,  so as many others!)

Together with Nicolas Nova, we presented the almost final state of our joint research project Inhabiting & Interfacing the Cloud(s), at a time when we are entering the prototyping of the final artifacts (deliverables).

 

Via Centre Culturel Suisse (in French)

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Du vendredi 2 au samedi 3 décembre 2016

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Bot Like Me
interventions en anglais

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A l’occasion de l’exposition de !MedienGruppe Bitnik, et avec la complicité du duo d’artistes zurichois, Sophie Lamparter (directrice associée de swissnex San Francisco) et Luc Meier (directeur des contenus de l’EPFL ArtLab, Lausanne) ont concocté pour le CCS un événement de deux jours composé de conférences, tables rondes et concerts, réunissant scientifiques, artistes, écrivains, journalistes et musiciens pour examiner les dynamiques tourmentées des liens homme-machine. Conçues comme une plateforme d’échange à configuration souple, ces soirées interrogeront nos rapports complexes, à la fois familiers et malaisés, avec les bots qui se multiplient dans nos environnements ultra-connectés.

Bratton H. B. (2016). The Stack, On Software and Sovereignty

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(…). In an account that is both theoretical and technical, drawing on political philosophy, architectural theory, and software studies, Bratton explores six layers of The Stack: Earth, Cloud, City, Address, Interface, User.

Each is mapped on its own terms and understood as a component within the larger whole built from hard and soft systems intermingling — not only computational forms but also social, human and physical forces. This model, informed by the logic of the multilayered structure of protocol “stacks”, in which network technologies operate within a modular and vertical order, offers a comprehensive image of our emerging infrastructure and a platform for its ongoing reinvention. (…).

 

Note: recently published by the MIT Press — as well as quoted as a work in progress by Lucien Langton in a post back in 2015 — comes this book by Prof. Benjamin H. Bratton.

It consists in a comprehensive analysis, both technical and phylosophical of what we could call “The Cloud”, yet what Bratton describes as a world scale “stack” consisting in 6 layers: Earth, Cloud, City, Address, Interface, User (and which interestingly is not so distant to our own approach considering the user, the interface, the infrastructure and the territory).

Hu T.-H. (2015). A Prehistory of The Cloud

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We may imagine the digital cloud as placeless, mute, ethereal, and unmediated. Yet the reality of the cloud is embodied in thousands of data centers, any one of which can use as much electricity as a midsized town. Even all these data centers are only one small part of the cloud. Behind that cloud-shaped icon on our screens is a whole universe of technologies and cultural norms, all working to keep us from noticing their existence. In this book, Tung-Hui Hu examines the gap between the real and the virtual (sic) in our understanding of the cloud. (…)

 

Note: while we do not necessarily follow Mr. Hu in all is assertions, we found it very interesting to digg into the potential past of this physical and digital construct (the cloud), even so it obviously mingles its own past with the one of the Internet, and previously with telegraph/telephone lines and railways that served as the initial paths for these “lines”.

Very interesting is also the part that presents the invention of the “user”, coming from an initial idea of sharing a common resource. It indeed seems that the “user” emerged from the ideas and technologies of “time-sharing”, then “multiprocessing”, when a single mainframe computer could remain stuck by a single user’s computations for hours or even days, sometimes for no results (error in the code).