The Collaboration for Humane Technologies is a network of artists, scholars and researchers exploring the interplay between physical and virtual experience and seeking to intervene directly in creating better futures. We are an interdisciplinary community. We embrace collaboration, nuance and complexity. We make games, virtual reality experiences, interactive installations, animations, data visualizations, objects, live performances and whatever else we need to invent given the problem or need we are tackling. Our projects foreground well-being, movement, creative open-ended play, compassion, personal agency and collaboration. We are inspired by design innovator Bret Victor's provocation:
This question sits at the heart of our research and our varied definitions of humane tech - that is, technology that is responsive to how humans learn, think, and create and thrive. With these humane working assumptions, we focus each year on a different theme.
"This year, the Humane Technologies project moves towards considering well-being. Shall we say that a concern for well-being inheres in our notion of what is humane? The idea seems anodyne (if not anesthetic), certainly undemanding. Whose well-being? And by what measures?
Maybe we should take another, closer look at well-being. Although based on first-person reports, it is not inherently self-centered. Well-being is multi-dimensional, made up of an array of data-points, sieved through a variety of metrics. Important aspects of well-being are relational: family, friends, work, community involvements.
How do we face up to vulnerability, or dependence, which is intrinsic to the human condition: natality and mortality? Something to be overcome?
Care is attention in action."
By Rick Livingston for Humane Technologies
We will use new and existing technologies to promote an inclusive ethics of livability, to spark creativity and curiosity and develop tolerance for complexity.
What do we mean by Livability?
Livability encompasses social justice and ecological ethics, it invites critically rethinking who survives and who gets to thrive in our communities including all biological and artificial life now and in the future. At the heart of our creative action is the conviction that in order to think (and make) livable futures we need to question such categories as: the human. We will critically reframe technological progress in favor of a posthumanism that is neither anti-human nor solely about sustaining human life as we currently know it.
Scholar Katherine Hayles critiques the fact that many visions of the future “point to the anti-human and the apocalyptic" and calls us to action showing that
"we can craft other visions that will be conducive to the long-range survival of humans and of the other life-forms, biological and artificial, with whom we share the planet and ourselves."
Activist Frances Moore Lappe calls us to create solution stories
“Facing unprecedented challenges, we can choose to remain open to possibility and creativity—not mired in despair. Surely, the latter is a luxury that none can afford. We can create and enthusiastically share a solutions story today, every day. It is a revolutionary act.”
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collaborating for better futures
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