Week 2 provided the parameters for us to think about the concepts of theory and practice, and identifying the linkages that they may possess between one another. Before splitting into specified group we discussed the expanding notion of theory as a systematic way of thinking and could be seen as a foundation that information and actions are built upon. As a base, theory can conjure up idea growth to an extent. After that, further contextual and historical research needs to then function to continue ideation and progress within a practice/field. These important factors can then be channelled into practice whether it be art or craft-making to which all of these elements require each other to be effective.
In small groups we then discussed ‘FUTURES’, and this soon branched out into many venture points. My own research that I brought to the workshop revolved around a concept, coined by Venkatesh Rao referred to as ‘Manufactured Normalcy‘. It plays with themes dealing with an unexplained cognitive dissonance between changing-reality-as-experienced and change as imagined.
” There are mechanisms that operate — a mix of natural, emergent and designed — that work to prevent us from realizing that the future is actually happening as we speak. To really understand the world and how it is evolving, you need to break through this manufactured normalcy field.” (Rao, 2012)
It depends on the way you look at this notion to which it is then received. Ellis notes that the way to see the future is to simply ‘look around’. Technologically, socially and even culturally, the way we function as human beings has changed evermore, this may have led to a steps forward or back, but it is changing. To be a futurist, in pursuit of improving reality, is not to have your face continually turned upstream, waiting for the future to come. To improve reality is to clearly see where you are, and then wonder how to make that better. Moving around the workshop I conversed about interesting things such as the equation for antibiotics has not been touched since it’s creation (which could give insight into our biology into the future?), the integration of social media in everyday life have led to digital advancements and perhaps now digital dissent. Another interesting point that I ponded on to think of futures as seasons, we expect it, we know what it has brought in the past, but cannot pinpoint it’s behaviour, it’s fickleness and impact on the world.