KATHARINA ROTHE

Design student at Goldsmiths, University of London. I am a collector.

EVA WISTEN
Journalist, SEED Media Group; Author, Single in Manhattan

THE INCREASED NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHOSE THOUGHTS ARE IN MY HEAD

When you’re on a plane, watching the cars below; the blinking, moving workings of a city, it’s easy to believe that everything is connected, just moving parts in the same system. If you’re one of the individual drivers on the ground, driving your car from B to A, the perspective is, of course, different. The individual driver feels very much like an individual, car to match your personality, on way to your chosen destination. The driver never feels like a moving dot in a row of a very large number of other moving dots.

The Internet sometimes makes me suspect that I’m that driver. Having the information from so many disparate systems merged (often invisibly), is steering my behavior into all kinds of paths, which I can only hope are beneficial. The visible connectedness through the Web has changed, maybe not how I think, but has increased the number of people whose thoughts are in my head. Because of the Internet, memes and calculations of more people (and/or computers) passes through us. Good or bad, this new level of connectedness sometimes gives me the feeling that if I could only be picked up a few feet over ground, what I would see, is an ant hill. All the ants, looking so different and special up close, seem suspiciously alike from this height. This new tool for connections has made more ants available every time I need to carry a branch, just as there are more ants in the way when I want to get in with the picnic basket.

But, as a larger variety of thoughts and images pass by, as I can search a thought and see the number of people who have had the same thought before me — as more and more systems talk to each other and take care of all kinds of logistics, I do think that this level of connectedness pushed us — beneficially — towards both the original and the local.

We can go original, either in creation or curation, and, if good, carve a new, little path in the anthill — or we can copy one of all the things out there and bring it home to our local group. Some ants manage to be original enough to benefit the whole anthill. But other ants can copy and modify the good stuff and bring it home. And in this marching back and forth, trying to get things done, communicate, make sense of things, I see myself not looking to leaders, but to curators who can efficiently signal where to find the good stuff.

What is made accessible to me through the Internet might not be changing how I think, but it does some of my thinking for me. And above all, the Internet is changing how I see myself. As real world activity and connections continue to be what matters most to me, the Internet, with its ability to record my behavior, is making it clearer that I am, in thought and in action, the sum of the thoughts and actions of other people to a greater extent then I have realized.

leahleahxo asked: Hi Katharina! I was wondering where you found that image of Jonathan Safran Foer? I was hoping to use it for a project I'm working on...

http://sz-magazin.sueddeutsche.de/texte/anzeigen/29258/

I’ve got it from an interview in a German newspaper in which he replied in photographs. The particular one on my blog is the answer to the question about the sound of German language. If you want me to translate any of the other questions don’t hesitate to ask!

TEAR OFF WALLPAPER | ZNAK [2011]
there is so much design potential in this idea!

TEAR OFF WALLPAPER | ZNAK [2011]

there is so much design potential in this idea!

OTAAT BAGS | ALBERT CHU [2011]

OTAAT BAGS | ALBERT CHU [2011]

PERSONAL MESSAGES FROM JAPAN [2011]

http://www.flickr.com/photos/twitteroffice/5885172082/

'On Twitter, we saw a 500% increase in Tweets from Japan as people reached out to friends, family and loved ones in the moments after the March 2011 earthquake. This video shows the volume of @replies traveling into and out of Japan in a one-hour period just before and then after the earthquake. Replies directed to users in Japan are shown in pink; messages directed at others from Japan are shown in yellow.'

BLESSED UNREST - PAUL HAWKEN [2007]

'The centerpiece of this novel idea is the construction of the world's slowest computer, a clock with a 32 bit mechanical processor designed by Hillis that will keep accurate time for ten thousand years without power and with minimal assistance from humans. The first functioning prototype is on display in London at the Science Museum; the finished product will ultimately be housed in a remote limestone cave in Great Basin National Park in Nevada. Brank and Hillis call it the Clock of the Long Now. It will chime once in a millenium.

Brand and Hillis (and just about everyone else who has considered the matter) believe that shorter attention spans are causing decisions to be made within quicker time horizons; fast results demand fast thinking, which is making for a foreshortened and badly imagined future’ (p. 154)

'If anything can offer us hope for the future it will be an assembly of humanity that is representative but not centralized, because no single ideology can ever heal the wounds of this world. History demonstrates all to eloquently that no ideology has ever amounted to more than a palliative for any dire condition. The immune system is the most complex system in the body, just as the body is the most complex organism on earth, and the most complicated assembly of organisms is human civilization' (p 163)

'The world simply appears to be out of control. Too often, however, such problems seem insoluble because of how they are managed - with idealogical, top-down, oligarchic, militaristic management styles. If we tried to consciously control out bodies, we would die, just as the planet it dying' (p. 177)

Life tends to optimize rather than maximize. Maximization is another word for addiction. ‘Humans exhibit addictive tendencies when trying to maximize such values as wealth, pleasure, security and power … Too much of a good thing is not a good thing.’ writes Hoagland. Critics of the movement complain that it is against free markets, expanding wealth, and security, which is not true. What is missing in that critique is a discussion of how we gauge sufficiency. A sense of balance - of knowing what is too much wealth, what is too much power, what constitutes license instead of freedom - it is not easy to achieve, but it raises crucial questions. In Lyrical and Critical Essays, Camus wrote of how beauty has been exiled in Western culture and replaced by the cult of reason that constantly seeks to overcome limits. ‘But limits nonetheless exist and we know it. In our wildest madness we dream of an equilibrium we have lost, and which in our simplicity we think we shall discover once again when our errors cease - an infantile presumption, which justifies the fact that childish peoples, inheriting out madness, are managing our history today … We turn out back on nature, we are ashamed of beauty. Our miserable tragedies have the smell of an office, and their blood is the colour of dirty ink' (p. 183)

www.wiserearth.org

'It is a very flexible system of shallow pots made of acrylic stone or similar material. They can be filled with prefabricated lawn grass or with wooden panels. The bottom of the pots allow water fluctuation. They can be arranged freely, walking paths can be dominated by wooden bits while corners can be fully grass. One can design ones own pattern.'
Read more at Design Milk: http://design-milk.com/get-out-rethinking-balconies/#ixzz1PNdq94sL

'It is a very flexible system of shallow pots made of acrylic stone or similar material. They can be filled with prefabricated lawn grass or with wooden panels. The bottom of the pots allow water fluctuation. They can be arranged freely, walking paths can be dominated by wooden bits while corners can be fully grass. One can design ones own pattern.'


Read more at Design Milk: http://design-milk.com/get-out-rethinking-balconies/#ixzz1PNdq94sL

BOOK COVER - INFINITE JEST by DAVID FOSTER-WALLACE [KIPPENHEUER & WITSCH]

BOOK COVER - INFINITE JEST by DAVID FOSTER-WALLACE [KIPPENHEUER & WITSCH]