Panel: The Volatility and Stability of WorldMaking as Techné
The concept of Techné has been intertwined with worldmaking from antiquity to the present. The nature of this relationship has not been constant, however. Running through from Orpheus, Hesiod, Aeschylus, Aristotle, and Zeno the Stoic, among others, these concepts were persistent elements of a complex but highly coherent worldview. Within this outlook, techné signified not only the techniques of making, but, more importantly, the significance of making. This was understood as something directed, as a vector, not as just a point. Moreover, this vector of making was itself embedded in a field of values that constituted the very meaning of “civilization.” Contemporary approaches to techné, be they philosophical or practical, omit much of this directedness and embeddedness, too often resulting in technique void of meaning, the creation of works that are mutually canceling, and a contribution to the making of a world and worlds that are more broken than whole. This paper will discuss how the ancient insights are relevant – and indeed imperative – to our predicament with respect to contemporary worldmaking, both as art and as life.
- Professor Marcos Novak directs the transLAB at UCSB (US). He is researcher, artist, theorist, and transarchitect. In 2008, “Transmitting Architecture”, the title of his seminal 1995 essay, became the theme of the XXIII World Congress of the UIA (Union Internationale Des Architectes), the largest architectural organization in the world. His projects, theoretical essays, and interviews have been translated into over twenty languages and have appeared in over 70 countries, and he lectures, teaches, and exhibits worldwide. Drawing upon architecture, music, and computation, and introducing numerous additional influences from art, science, and technology, his work intentionally defies categorization. He is universally recognized as the pioneer of architecture in cyberspace, of the critical consideration of virtual space as architectural and urban place, and of the use of generative computational composition in architecture and design. He is a Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is affiliated with CNSI (the California NanoSystems Institute), MAT (Media Art and Technology), and Art. He named and was instrumental in the design of the UCSB AlloSphere (the three-story high sphere for the creation of immersive virtual environments, the largest such facility in the world) and created its inaugural project, the AlloBrain@AlloSphere, using fMRI scans of his own brain. He is currently working on a new Allotopes project for the AlloSphere. In 2004, he was honored to become a Fellow of the World Technology Network.