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Of Mayflies and other bugs on my Internet of Things

Birgit Bachler


16th June

21:15 – 21:30


Ever since I learned that the first logbook-documented computer bug was a moth that got stuck on one of the components of the Mark II computer at Harvard University I was intrigued by the curious entanglements between the machines we build and the living world around it. In this talk, I discuss my recent creative research located in Aotearoa/New Zealand in which I looked at how Internet of Things technology could be meaningfully connecting to more-than human "things", be it the water or the air that surrounds us. The work wildthings.io sought to give a voice to forgotten urban freshwaters while Alternating Undercurrents aimed to collaboratively give a presence to the air we breathe. Developing work on colonised lands gave me an opportunity to reconsider my Euro-centric perspectives on technology and openness. In this presentation I will discuss how debugging the connection between my all-to-human senses and the surrounding world allowed me to relearn designing networks beyond human scales.

© pic by Kemi & Niko, 2019