"To McCullough, computer animation, geometric modeling, spatial databases – in general, all forms of media production or design – can be said to be 'crafted' when creators 'use limited software capacities resourcefully, imaginatively, and in compensation for the inadequacies of prepackaged, hard-coded operations' (21).... Again, as Sennett suggests, we 'assert our own individuality' against the prepackaged, predetermined processes and limitations of the tools we're using. Craftsmanship, says aesthetic historian David Pye, is 'workmanship using any kind of technique or apparatus, in which the quality of the result is not predetermined, but depends on the judgment [sic], dexterity and care which the maker exercises as he works' (45).
'Workmanship engages us with both functional and aesthetic qualities. It conveys a specific relation between form and content, such that the form realizes the content, in a manner that is enriched by the idiosyncrasies of the medium' (McCullough p.203). '[E]ach medium,' McCullough says, 'is distinguished by particular vocabulary, constructions, and modifiers, and these together establish within it a limited but rich set of possibilities' (McCullough p.230). Similarly, each methodology, or each research resource, has its own particular vocabulary, constructions, modifiers, obligations, and limitations. We need to choose our tools with these potentially enriching, and just as potentially debilitating, idiosyncrasies in mind. Do we need advanced software, or will iMovie suffice? Do we need to record an focus group in video – or will the presence of the camera compromise my rapport with my interviewee? Will an audio recording be more appropriate? Do we need to conduct primary interviews if others have already documented extensive interviews with these same subjects? Do we need to conduct extensive, long-term field-work – or can we accomplish everything in a short, well-planned research trip? How do I match my problem or project to the most appropriate tool?"
(Shannon Mattern, Words in Space)
Malcolm McCullough, Abstracting Craft: The Practiced Digital Hand (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996).
"Interactive toys have real time conversations with users, preferably employing speech recognition. ... Content is provided to users for their toys which enables toys to form relationships with users. Interactive Toys further utilize user knowledge bases to match entertainment, education and sales promotion content to user histories, behaviors and habits. Content is thus personalized to an individual user as well as to a user's environment including the user's location and the time at which the toy is used. Integration of content, such as entertainment, education and sales promotion is provided by merging Interactive Television techniques with Interactive Toys."
(10 August 2004)
Gabai, O., J. Gabai, et al. (2004). Methods and apparatus for integration of interactive toys with interactive television and cellular communication systems. United States, Creator Ltd. (Shmuel, IL).
"Popular culture celebrates each new machine or commodity as a revolutionary wonder. But it is easy for the macro-apparatus of supply (the Bestand) to keep supplying new tools/toys out of the resources on hand to it. What is harder to alter, and what continues to give contemporary lives and inventions their particular stamp, is the macro-apparatus itself and the logics of resourcing and supply that order it. Heidegger names as Gestell (enframing) the dangerous modem technological mindset that calls on the world to reveal itself as available resource. One danger of this framework, as Michael Zimmerman explains, is that it turns everything, even ourselves, into the same: neither thing, object or subject, but raw material, standing-reserve, human resource: 'While humanity itself can never be transformed completely into standing reserve, technological humanity has become in effect the most important raw material in a process which no longer makes basic ontological distinctions among different kinds of entities' (Zimmerman 1990, 215-16)."
(Zoë Sofia, p.195, 196)
Hypatia Volume 15, Number 2, Spring 2000, pp. 181-201
E-ISSN: 1527-2001 Print ISSN: 0887-5367, DOI: 10.1353/hyp.2000.0029
Zimmerman, Michael. 1990. Heidegger's confrontation with modernity: Technology, politics, art. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
"The Swedish physician Gustav Zander's institute in Stockholm, founded in the late nineteenth century and stocked with twenty-seven of his custom-built machines, was the first "gym" in the sense that we know the word today. His mechanical horse was an early version of the Stairmaster, a contraption for cardiovascular fitness designed to imitate a "natural" activity. His stomach-punching apparatus evokes contemporary "ab-crunching" machines. What makes Zander so important, for anyone trying to trace the Cybex family tree, is what happened when his machines, created in a European cultural context, immigrated to the US in the early twentieth century. They are prototypes of the workout equipment now ubiquitous in American life.
By the early twentieth century, extensive collections of Zander machines could be found at elite health spas such as Homestead in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and at private institutes such as the one Zander set up near Central Park in New York. Access to these health machines was a mark of status at the turn of the century. Health spas and gymnasia were not subsidised by the state as they were in Sweden, and the American working class would not have been able to afford the fees required to receive Zander treatments. Nor were the working class thought to need such treatments; their "hearty" bodies were not yet impaired by the sedentary habits of affluent modern life. In mechanised workouts, white-collar Americans pumped up their own superiority. By declaring that "fitness" equalled a perfectly balanced physique, rather than the ability to perform actual physical tasks, body power was shifted from labourers to loungers."
(Carolyn de la Peña)