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1998 art of accident

1998 art of accident

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Published by Riccardo Mantelli

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Published by: Riccardo Mantelli on Apr 01, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/06/2012

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We live in a world of accidents. The things we produce have a tendencyto malfunction as much as they function. We try to predict and control thesefunctions, yet, we are often surprised by the creativity and variety with whichthe product can malfunction. The accident represents one of the great fears ina society where scientific and technical paradigms have for a long time beendirected at safety and security. Planning, engineering and design are stillmostly directed at the construction of safe and predictable things, while anew school of engineering is increasingly looking at ways of incorporatingpossible malfunctions into the planning process, and to use the accidentalpotential of products for enhancing their performance.We live in a world of accidents. The things we produce have a tendencyto malfunction as much as they function. We try to predict and control thesefunctions, yet, we are often surprised by the creativity and variety with whichthe product can malfunction. The accident represents one of the great fears ina society where scientific and technical paradigms have for a long time beendirected at safety and security. Planning, engineering and design are stillmostly directed at the construction of safe and predictable things, while anew school of engineering is increasingly looking at ways of incorporatingpossible malfunctions into the planning process, and to use the accidentalpotential of products for enhancing their performance.Yet, malfunction and failure are not signs of improper production. Onthe contrary, they indicate the active production of the accidental potential in
 any product. The invention of the ship implies its wreckage, the steam engineand the locomotive discover the derailment (Virilio).Aristotelian philosophy has pointed out that the accident is notsomething that is added from the outside, but that it is immanent to the thingitself. This also implies that failure, friction, collision and collapse have tobeviewed as characteristics of substance itself. The accident is an intrinsicproperty and part of the program of any product. It is present as a potentialwithin the technological phylum. The accident is not an event, which happens
in time: the accident happens as a sudden transformation of matter in space.Nor is the accident the same as chance, which is brought to the thing from
the outside, but something that realizes a potential that is inside, intrinsic tothe thing.The shock that an accident can trigger is effected by the accidents
sudden and unexpected contraction of the domestic domain, the domain ofsafety, control and self-reference. The accident is experienced as an invasionof or intrusion into this domain, and for humans it is closely related to theloss of self-control over the body. More generally, the accident can bedescribed as a situation in which a system can no longer grasp itself withinits own terms.
 
Ars accidentalis Ars accidentalisThe accident is the ultimate functioning of a product. Beyond theclassical opposition of functional vs. dysfunctional, the world of accidentsbecomes hyperfunctional.Technology is a technique of accelerated and planned transformation.Technology designs accidents, and it tries to contain their effects. It isassumed to have failed when it cannot contain its intrinsic accidents. Yet, any
technical infrastructure is a combination of several accident-prone elements.In the same way as we can see the derailment as part of the train system,and the car crash as an accidens of the car, we can also investigate theaccidental potentials of television, the computer, electronic networks, etc.DEAF98, and this accompanying book of essays, interviews, art andarchitecture projects, is an exploration of what an ars accidentalis might be.The festival presents and discusses accidents and their preferredenvironments in such areas as electronic art, sound art, architecture, urbanplanning, economy and social systems, emphasizing the role that theaccidental plays in the relation between art and technology, and in thetransitory zone between these disciplines. The Art of the Accident showcasesinteractive machines, virtual environments, acoustic spaces, hardware andsoftware projects with their accidental potentials.
A world that is open to continuous change and to becoming different,requires an ars accidentalis. The creativity and the productivity of the accident,the break and the fall have to be understood as the potential to achieve newforms of heterogeneity and of disjunctive synthesis. Imprecision, haste, andforgetfulness are only some of the characteristics of this romantic discipline.The Art of the Accident is not looking for conclusive answers. It investigatesthe project in the face of failure.DEAF98 / V2_Organisatie
 
Essays/InterviewsN. Katherine Hayles How does it feel to be Posthuman? 210Perry Hoberman Mistakes & Misbehavior 72Knowbotic Research+cF IO_Dencies Questioning Urbanity 186
Steve Mann Experiment is Accident 48Brian Massumi Event Horizon 154Humberto Maturana We Living Systems 230Marcos Novak Next Babylon: Accidents to Play in 102Dick Raaijmakers Right to Risk 6Otto E. Rssler The World as an Accident 172
Lars Spuybroek Where Space gets Lost 132Paul Virilio Surfing the Accident 30DEAF98 Summary 250Biographies 252, 253Colophon 254part oftransArchitecturespart ofProjectspart ofSymposiumpart ofExhibitiontransArchitecturespart ofProjectspart ofSymposiumpart ofExhibitionEssays/InterviewsN. Katherine Hayles How does it feel to be Posthuman? 210Perry Hoberman Mistakes & Misbehavior 72Knowbotic Research+cF IO_Dencies Questioning Urbanity 186
Steve Mann Experiment is Accident 48Brian Massumi Event Horizon 154Humberto Maturana We Living Systems 230Marcos Novak Next Babylon: Accidents to Play in 102Dick Raaijmakers Right to Risk 6Otto E. Rssler The World as an Accident 172
Lars Spuybroek Where Space gets Lost 132Paul Virilio Surfing the Accident 30DEAF98 Summary 250Biographies 252, 253Colophon 254

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