– Seminar with Steve Thompson

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Steve explained that he was still in a position where he is still discovering where he is with his practice. He said it was all very disjointed and unresolved at present. He talked about “Joey”, an autistic child who believed he was part of a machine or that he was in fact a machine. Joey the Mechanical Boy as accounted by Bruno Bettelheim.

One of Joey’s drawing that shows how he is all part of the one machine.

One of the points that stuck out for me was when Steve Thompson said that good design is made to become mundane, so much so that we no longer see it. It becomes a part of or an extension to our lives. He also spoke of the frustration felt by designers not getting recognition for their craft. He gave the example of Duchamp’s “Fountain”, saying that the designer of the urinal gets no recognition for his creative design and that it only becomes art when Duchamp puts it in an exhibition and changes its use.

Another point I found interesting was when Steve Thompson spoke about the difficulties ageing film stars had in the 90s when they could see themselves age in front of their younger selves on the screen. This is now a normal part of life, it had become normal and mundane.

It is called “Normalising Invention”

Steve then went on to talk about how we cannot move away from technology that it is an integral part of humanity. Our world is shaped by technology, from our sculpted gardens and forests to the daily routine of brushing our teeth. He poses the question….where does the human begin and the technology begin? Are we cyborgs already? In fact Steve said that technology predates humanity.