MAGIC CLOUD - theory

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A catalogue of demonstrations, diagrams, and working examples of all possible devices.

Why do this? To imagine the future according to alternative logics of progress and development, to help create technology that will facilitate human interaction differently, to understand what's easy to do and what's hard and if that corresponds to a system of logic or a set of goals or habits. The phone is a commercial and scientific product, and though undeniably useful it is limited by electricity, networks, commercial pressure. The smelly sock is much less limited, less fragile, cheaper and easy to learn how to use. It does what you want a phone to do and works how you'd like a phone to work. At least it solves many of the problems that the network, commerce, and electricity present. But perhaps 'phone' isn't the right solution to 'communicate with someone who isn't there'. It seems that often a portable telefax is a better solution. Telepathy may be better still. Except we don't want other people to know what we're thinking (see the 'lensless glasses device'), just as we don't want the camera to solve the phone problem because we usually don't want people to step onto a stage or a screen to have a simple conversation. Magic Cloud is a device itself. The device to solve all problems at once. It will discover uncanny effects of devices, find uncommon uses for ubiquitious devices, and outline the paradigm of human problems as we've defined them by our device solutions. Technology facilitates human interaction. It also shapes it. This is a conceptual sculpture project that finds shape by taking away the negative space. Is this an exhaustive catalogue? It grows and shrinks and moves like a cloud.

We're surrounded by devices designed to solve 'the problem at hand.' To talk to someone across the city you can use a phone or a computer and there's a laborious system involved in using each device. Each device must be learned and each presents a new problem. For example, how to attach an attachment. Well in Magic Cloud you just put whatever you'd like to attach in a bag next to your computer and say the person or persons' name who you'd like the attachment to go to. The devices in Magic Cloud must still be learned, but they can be substituted, transformed, and modified according to multiple logical matricies, intuitive matricies let's say or socialized thought habits. So if you don't have a bag or a computer and you'd still like to send an attachment, you might be able to cup your hands and put the attachment inside and throw it into the air and say the person's name. I know it sounds like magic but if you watch people interface an iphone that looks like magic too.

We must keep in mind that devices are always used in conjunction with other devices. Hold my food while I eat is solved by the table. Bring my food to my mouth without it touching my fingers, is solved variously by forks, spoons, knives, cups, chop sticks, etc. Now suddenly it seems the definition of device has exploded and there could be an unmanageably large number of devices--all depending on how narrowly we identify the problem. Magic Cloud aggregates problems that devices create while trying to be helpful, and problems that devices are applied toward but for which no specific device exists, and poetic problems. Magic Cloud solves the problem of hold my food, make it fit in my mouth and bring it in, with the 'finger snap'.

Say you want to know about a new person you may date or work for, you type in the person's name and all of the information about them comes up on one page: the Condenser. It's almost there with Google and Facebook, Flickr, etc, but it's a little diffuse. Now imagine your phone battery has died and you'd still like to receive calls: Worn Sock. Now imagine you run into someone you know but can't remember, you'd like to know immediately how you met and what your impression of them was: Neon Visor.

This project juxtaposes and stacks together concepts like Interface, memory, socialization, and technology as an externalization of 'the problem at hand', and ways of imagining the future, mysticism and science.

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