Tethered & Wearable

Sherry Turkle: Tethering & Always-on/Always-on-you: The Tethered Self
Susan Elizabeth Ryan: What is Wearable Technology Art?

I’m going to work my way backwards, starting with addressing “What is Wearable Technology Art?”. Ryan spends a considerable amount of time arguing why fashion is worthy of serious intellectual consideration, she sites a few well know scholars…. she begins to illustrate the notion of wearable technology, by hinting at a Kevin Kelly approach to the evolution of technology, such as eyeglasses, the wrist watch, and fictional examples like batman, James Bond, and star trek. One of the strongest points in the essay is a quote from a practitioner of such work, Co, who writes:

“ With this research work I have tried to explore the ways that technology and computation can expand the vocabulary of fashion and change the ways we think about our bodies as they relate to others and the environment. From the experience of designing and implementing each project, it is clear that we must somehow become more facile, able to move dexterously between various aspects of design. Beyond a generalized system for creating computational garments lies the fundamental need to change our notions of hardware and software as separate entities, removed from the physicality of fabric, wind, and shape.”

“A train station is no longer a communal public space, but a space of social collection: tethered selves come together, but do not speak to each other. In the sociology of social collection each person in the station is more likely to be having an encounter with someone miles away than with the person in the next chair. Each inhabits a private media bubble.”

Her rhetoric seems to suggest that the ‘sociology of social collection’ is a negative development, this leads into her speculation about the long term implications of a tethered social experience in the inculturation and development of children. One thing is for certain, whether it is talked about as good or bad, the tethered we is here to stay.

interesting site: http://www.fashioningtech.com

1 comment
  1. dustin said:

    I was at a pumpkin carving party, and as I went to sit down at a newly emptied spot at the carving table I found an iphone on the ground. I picked it up and the fellow that it belonged to was across the room. In response to his shock, his girlfriend teased him, saying “your umbilical cord is cut”

    Also for those interested, carving pumpkins is most definitely a ‘private media bubble’… for all the people in the room it was very quiet.

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