The Dark Side of Making: Reflecting on Promises, Practices and Problems of the Last 25 Years

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Emancipation and Pain (panel)

Presentation Title:

  • The Dark Side of Making: Reflecting on Promises, Practices and Problems of the Last 25 Years

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • The discussion of our panel of the Dark Side of Making takes up specifically the perspectives of software- and biohacking, do-ityourself (DIY) practices, education, and open networks. Members of the panel represent a range of perspectives from an international group of academics, artists, and makers, including the local South African maker scene. The recent years have seen a growing interest and increase of practices that embrace a DIY attitude and Maker Culture. But there are also controversies attached to these practices that question their legitimacy, sustainability, and intentions: How is it better to build your own electronic device instead of buying a mass-produced one? Does it really make sense to self-build the automated watering, light and temperature control system for your house plants? And why do we all repeat the same experiments in a DIY biolab, e.g. the creation of transgenic fluorescent e-coli bacteria, which will be killed after we have seen it glow under a fluorescent lamp? These and other questions reference a possibility that there exists a dark side to these practices; but what and where is it?

Category: