re:publica 2019


In addition to their involvement in individual arts-and-technology research projects, members of the xm:lab community engage in overarching processes around key themes of experimental research.

Cultures of Open

Openness has become a key feature of technology design. Linked to a wide variety of concerns - autonomy, sovereignty, transparency -, the rise of openness reflects changes in the way we look at the relationship between technological innovation and cultural, economic, and political change. "Cultures of Open" casts a critical glance at openness in software, hardware, organizational developement, and innovation governance processes to better understand the promise and perils of openness as a practice.

If openness facilitates access, participation, and sharing, it does so as a consequence of deliberate design decisions. Whether the domain is open data, open hardware, open software, open organization, or open societies, the open demands that we decide: open to what and to whom, in what contexts and under what conditions. Openness cannot be taken for granted, it has to be created and sustained. Both state (being open) and process (becoming open), openness is a call to design: objects as shareable, processes as participative, organizations as subject to self-organization, societies as open to change. A multidisciplinary approach cuts across the distinctions between hardware and software, culture and economy, individual and collective agency to comprehend how openness operates as a principle of design in the context of radical technological transformation.

Technologies of Play

We accord principles of play a fundamental role in the way we define and redefine our roles in our societies. Above and beyond the concern with games and game design, play opens up broader inquiries into human freedom. The rise of gaming and game-related technology and systems design frameworks gives the exploration of play a new urgency: what is play, how does it relate to the way we act in the world, and what kind of worldmaking does play allow us to engage in?

Collective Intelligence Design

Technological changes embed us in human-machine-collectives of unprecedented scale. Through the “not-yet-disciplinary” cultures of experimental research and their anticipatory what-if-power we can comprehend and co-design such embeddedness. Complementing the powerful-yet-narrow vision of technology-centered predictive analytics, the multiple registers of anticipation facilitate both forecasting and foresighting. Hosted by xm:lab, the supports concrete collective intelligence design activities through collaborative research, explores use cases that highlight and resonate across the dynamics of collaborative creation, and evaluate outcomes in relation to multiple scales of value. As we experiment with frameworks, methods, forms of assembly, and approaches to mutual learning, members of the network support each other in engaging with contexts and conditions that inform and structure their own work locally and translocally.