Ubiquity: a paranoid manifesto
M. Phillips and C. Speed
‘Ubiquity’, the ability to be everywhere at the same time, a potential historically attributed to the occult is now a common feature of the average mobile phone. This journal anticipates the consequences for design and research in a culture where everyone and everything is connected, and offers a context for visual artists, designers, scientists and writers to consider how ubiquity is transforming our relationship with the world.
Ubiquity is a peer reviewed journal for creative and transdisciplinary practitioners interested in technologies, practices and behaviours that have the potential to radically transform human perspectives on the world. The title refers explicitly to the advent of ubiquitous computing that has been hastened through the consumption of networked digital devices. The journal anticipates the consequences for design and research in a culture where everyone and everything is connected, and will offer a context for visual artists, designers, scientists and writers to consider how ubiquity is transforming our relationship with the world.
In embracing these aspirations Ubiquity recognizes the transgressions and trauma that are implicit in the inevitable cultural shifts that will follow. As well as providing opportunities for enriching human experience these technologies and entangled practices bring with them neurosis and paranoia. The journal aims to create new dialogues between disciplines that utilize these technologies and to consider these activities within a social/cultural context. Ubiquity will not only focus on creative disciplines but will provoke a critical engagement with science, computing and socio/economic studies, emphasizing the impact that design and technology has on everyone’s lives.
Seeking new methodologies for interfacing with the world, a series of practical and theoretical design processes are beginning to emerge from a wide variety of industrial, academic, scientific and creative contexts. These new methodologies are collapsing previous distinctions between science and art, and are constructing new transdisciplinary vocabularies for understanding a social, environmental and technical sense of ‘place’ that was previously understood through the limited and discrete parameters of time and space.
Ubiquity focuses on contemporary practices that engage with these technologies and behaviours within the creative arts (design, architecture and art) but more importantly explores the impact these technologies are having on synergies between disciplines and the broader cultural context. We envisage the journal as an instrument that seeks to establish critical and creative frameworks and methodologies that effectively articulate and nurture innovation in this field.
This instrument aims to become a context in which these new methodologies can be demonstrated and theoretical implications explored. Implications that involve a sensitive inquiry into the subjects that bind social conversations such as memory, place, ownership, material, identity and image. In doing so Ubiquity will explore the artificial division between quantitative and qualitative research methods, provoking a critical approach to existing paradigms and orthodoxies within physical, social and design sciences and arts. For instance, the heated debates in the Earth Sciences concerning the validity of data collected by humans (‘dirty’) and data collected by instruments (‘clean’) dissolve within ‘techno-ethnographic’ Web 2.0 Citizen Science platforms.
Editorial and Production
Jane Macdonald Edinburgh College of Art, at the University of Edinburgh. firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Anders, Architect, Kayvala Consulting, USA.
Gianni Corino, Plymouth University, UK
Elisa Giaccardi, Professor, TU Delft
Paul Green, Senior Lecturer Media Communications, Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland.
Andy Hudson-Smith, Director of CASA, Lecturer and Senior Research Fellow in Urban Planning and Geographic Visualisation, University College London, UK.
David McConville, Elumenati.com, USA
Jon Rogers, Senior Lecturer, Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics, University of Dundee, UK.
Jen Southern, Independent Artist / Researcher, Lancaster University, UK.
Paul Thomas, Curtin University / University of New South Wales, Australia
Claudia Westermann, XLarch, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China