Meta.Morf X – Digital Wild / Dokkhuset, March 6 – 7, 2020 / Curator: Zane Cerpina

Daniel Rourke [uk]
Twas Brillig, and the Skeuomorphs, Did Gyre and Gimble in the Wilds

Skeuomorphs are elements of an interface or object which mimic the features of something else. Usually, they work by smoothing over the transition from the old to the new; a common principle in design practice, which can help us feel our way across the bumpy surface of so-called ‘cutting-edge’ technologies. Skeuomorphs also illustrate how we become subject to our technologies; how our cultural desires, needs and frustrations often disguise biases and assumptions woven into our machines by the compulsions of ‘progress’. In this talk, Daniel will use the concept of the skeuomorph to explore the digital outer limits, where strange human/machine hybrid monsters toil and mutate in their desire to be recognised. What can domesticated parrots teach us about our relationship with AI voice assistants? What do tumbleweeds, bumbling across the dust bowl, have in common with the geo-engineers who consider the Planet Earth a design object? And why are 3D printers the definitive figures of post-human dread in an increasingly plasticised environment?

Daniel Rourke
Dr. Daniel Rourke is an artist/writer, currently lecturing and researching Digital Media at Goldsmiths University, London. In his practice, Daniel creates collaborative frameworks and theoretical toolsets for exploring the intersections of digital materiality, the arts, and (critical) post-humanism. These frameworks often hinge on speculative elements taken from fiction and pop culture; figures and fabulations that might offer a glimpse of a radical ‘outside’ to the human(ities). His writing, lecturing, and artistic profile includes work with Arebyte Gallery London, PICNIC Brasil, Photographer’s Gallery London, Walk&Talk Azores, AND Festival, The V&A, FACT Liverpool, Centre Pompidou Paris, Transmediale Berlin, Tate Modern, Sonic Acts Amsterdam, Carnegie Mellon’s STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Pittsburgh, DarAlHokoomeh Project Iran and many others.