Tags: 2nd reading ambient informatics ambient intelligence ambient personality and data pov apple t-shirts barbie BIOTailor burroughs coffeeist design intentions directional ticket dispepsi final project update Fogg iphone apps ipod lie detector lockton media midterm MIPs Netflix non-human persuasive technology poison snooper Question 1 question2 Question 2 Reading 1 Reading 2 redesigning emotions Sandra's Exposure Presentation sensor networks social persuasion technology and transparency technovelgy Technovelgy Group Assignment tv weapons week2 Week 2 Week 3 Technovelgy Response week 4 non-human post week 4 reading response week 8 emotions

By (February 1, 2009) (,,,,)

The Barbie Liberation Organization deliberately re-scrambled a message put forth by the designers of the dolls to create a diametrically opposite message than the one originally intended. Negativland’s Dispepsi album subverted the familiar marketing design of Pepsi by simply tweaking the colors and shapes of their logo and associating it with their songs. Both efforts take advantage of the human ability to interpret information and use heuristics to make a taxonomy of judgements and decisions. However, they do something important in forcing the viewer/user to re-examine their relationship with mass produced products and messages. How much of a personal decision is it to buy nike? Do I implicitly consider myself a genius because I bought a mac from a Genius?

William Burroughs points out in his essay, Invisible Generation that “When the human nervous system unscrambles a scrambled message, this will seem to the subject like his very own ideas which just occurred to him, which indeed it did.” Despite our reliance on systems to guide us through decision making (advertising being a system created by designers) we want to at least consider that we are in control. Artistic efforts like the Barbie Liberation and Dispepsi serve us well in reminding us of our lack of control but their own efforts are minimized by commercial entities and their ability to adapt. Hosler from Negativland hits it on the nail when he points out “What do you do when they’ve adopted all the language that you’ve been using for the last 30 years? Going back to the 60’s, you look at the kind of language that was used for resistance of government things, military things, corporate things, and for people trying to make a positive change in the world, and they’ve adopted so much of this language into advertising and politics.” To extend Burrough’s theme, the commercial world has developed a nuanced approach in dealing with subversive efforts in simply absorbing those efforts and outputting multiple versions in purposefully enigmatic ways. When Hosler hypothesizes a future of where a corporation hires a band to make an antiPepsi record, how far away was he from a Youtube infested with viral marketing efforts that make you wonder if the next lonelygirl is in fact, lonely?

Our toolset is that it has become much more refined and self aware of it’s potential. All the system elements Lockton discusses are specifically mentioned in regards to efforts and areas that are socially beneficial, such as safety and ecological awareness. The problem with our toolset might be that there is an overwhelming number of efforts concurrently grabbing the average users attention, some with simple commercial intent (buy these shoes) others with more serious life changing intent (join the army). All these efforts combined are capable of negating the ability of subversive efforts to shine a light on our reliance on heuristics. When I use the term subversive, I don’t just mean artistic endeavors like the two examples mentioned earlier, I also include ideas like remixing, blogging, texting, and instructables, and method or tool that can serve to further a communique outside official channels. For the foreseeable future, social technology is finding it’s way to smart users willing to make sure that corporate design doesn’t always end up the way it was intended.


February 1, 2009