Upon experiencing the Powerhouse Museum exhibition ‘Out Of Hand; Materialising The Digital‘, it depicted and aroused technologies in which suggest new industries/business models, innovation in design and a renewed local manufacturing base.
“ ‘CYBERNETICS’ typically denotes the interdisciplinary study and strategic deployment of communicative control processes in “complex systems” constituted by humans, other animals, machines, and the rest of living-nature. “ – (Pfohl, 1997)
Cybernetics as a process operating in nature has been around for a long time; actually, for as long as nature has been around. Through historical and contemporary settings this idea began to flourish where the advancements of technology have allowed it to grow and transform. Norbert Wiener coined the notion, inspiring a generation of scientists to think of computer technology as a means to extend human capabilities. He helped to create the first designs for self-guiding rockets, where through a series of feedback loops materials were programmed to respond to their external settings and conditions. Wiener wrote a book called “Cybernetics” in 1948 whereby the subtitle to this work emphasised “control and communication in the animal and machine”. This text is fundamental stepping stone to understanding techniques of securing efficient operation, the dynamics of observed systems and on the dynamics of the observer and ultimately the art of growing; both technologically and as humans. His proposed notions connect control (actions taken in hope of achieving goals) with communication (connection and information flow between the actor and the environment). So, Wiener is pointing out that effective action requires communication.
The Memex is a robotic machine for affiliated ordering and organising data by classifications and subjects; aimed to augment and expand the way we think and learn and communicate knowledge (Bush, 1945). The human brain does not function in the same hierarchal way this machine does, rather they work by affiliation and example acknowledgment. They can recollect through smell, or sound, or weight change, or music and tune or occasion, yet can battle to review complex numbers and calculation rapidly. The human mind doesn’t work by sequential request or subject codes. Vannevar Bush was attempting to imagine something that would mirror the limit of the human brain with the innovations accessible at the time, while in the meantime making new ontologies (frameworks of categorisation and association) of connections and associations between discrete components of data.
Since this time I believe that technologies have reinvented the purpose for many things, it is where the line between material and digital can be blurred. I want to propose a work through a cybernetic filter that perhaps turns simple objects/machines/materials intelligent, redefining their conventional purposes to compose a narrative or/and express an issue. For example I am using the the notion of the Rube Goldberg Machine within another project where I intend to incorporate Arduino sectors to allow the apparatus to transmit data, therefore activating qualities of the ‘Internet Of Things‘. The idea of autonomous apparatuses and dystopian parallels fascinate me where the materials are not the subject but the behaviour of said contraptions when interacting with external influences. I aim to showcase the transformation of inanimate or conventionally still objects/mechanisms/organisms into on that is impacted by and acting on behalf of it’s surroundings.