Thuistezien 160 — 27.01.2021

Critical Making 2019
Loes Bogers

What does the increasing interference of technology teach us about what making used to be, what making is now and, most importantly, what making and, perhaps un-making will be in the future? The issues of technological making, with its intersections with subjects such as art and design, institutionalisation and social inequality are addressed from various authors who have been selected to contribute to the edited volume ‘The Critical Makers Reader: Collaborative Learning with Technology’. The researcher Loes Bogers and PhD candidate Letizia Chiappini are the editors of the volume, which was published in October 2019 by the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam.

In the video above, Loes Bogers gives a brief but informative review of the, then, not yet published volume by going through selected publications that each reflects on the five themes surrounding the core issue of the book. Bogers introduces the talk with a quote from Vilém Flusser’s ‘The Factory’ made in 1999. As the concept of the edited volume expanded, alongside the content of the contributions to the volume they received for their open call, Bogers and Chiappini realized that this quote was still highly relevant today. Bogers describes that ‘The Factory’, in fact, highlights a number of interesting relationships, which they develop further in their edited volume. Bogers and Chiappini made a selection of contributions through which they aim to emphasize on how social hierarchies historically have left us with blindspots, particularly with regards to marginalized perspectives, and that their legacies need to be undone. The five underlying themes that categorize the selected contributions include epistemology and critique, labour, (un)learning (with) technology, spaces and institutions as well as materiality and posthuman making. To illustrate how these themes are addressed in the volume, Bogers highlights a number of articles, corresponding to each of the five themes.

The introduction from Bogers gives an insight into the volume that features 26 contributions from designers, artists, hackers, makers, and crafters, as well as activists, theorists, and scholars who are reflecting on contemporary maker cultures. If this introduction has caught your interest, you can download ‘The Critical Makers Reader: Collaborative Learning with Technology’ as a pdf reader or order a copy through the website of the Institute of Network Cultures.

Text: Rosa Zangenberg