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Eric Paulos at Living Light in East Bay Express

Eric Paulos was featured in the East Bay Express in “Living Room Light Exchange Salon Series: Where Tech and Art Converge” by Sarah Burke. In the salons’ the monthly discussion, artists gather in Bay Area living rooms to discuss new media.

Paulos is the founder and director of the Hybrid Ecologies Lab, Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering Computer Science Department at UC Berkeley, Director of the CITRIS Invention Lab, Chief Learning Officer for the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, a Co-Director of the Swarm Lab, and faculty within the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM).

Excerpts from the article:

“At the latest Living Room Light Exchange, some forty intellectual types sat on a sprawling rug inside an artist’s live-work space in West Oakland… It also represented something rare in the Bay Area: a dialogue in which art and tech were not assumed to be inherently opposed…
“Last week, presenter Eric Paulos … former multidecade member of the infamous anarcho pyro-technics group Survival Research Labratories, chatted about the possibilities for creating clothes that change patterns throughout the day by using thread that channels microcurrents of electricity. He also presented half-baked plans for creating “Energy Parasites”: toylike devices that stick onto busses, escalators, and public fountains, harvesting their energy for later uses, such as charging one’s phone. The clunky objects aren’t necessarily useful. Rather, they function more like works of art: prompting the viewer to reconsider something they take for granted, or for which they have a prescribed framework. In this case, that’s energy and ownership…
“After Paulos presented a project about networked devices (think “The Internet of Things”), a self-identified Apple employee spoke up to urge him to seriously consider the moral responsibilities of developing such technology. Afterward, during the intermission, a group of attendees weighed the disease-fighting capabilities of human-gene editing against the ethical dilemmas it creates.
“I don’t want to live in a world where everything is optimized and solutionist,” said Paulos at the end of his presentation, “That’s just not a very human way of living in this world.”

Read the rest of the article from Burke, and more from the East Bay Express here.

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