Design for Disobedience: Critical Technical Practice and Protest through Electronic Objects

Dr. Garnet Hertz
DFP Class 2330, FSC 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver

Disobedient Electronics: Protest (2017) is a limited edition publishing project by Dr. Garnet Hertz that highlights confrontational work from industrial designers, electronic artists, hackers and makers from 10 countries that disobey conventions, especially work that is used to highlight injustices, discrimination or abuses of power. Approximately half of the 25 contributors are academics, while the other half are from the broader maker, tech and art communities. Topics include the wage gap between women and men, the objectification of women's bodies, gender stereotypes, wearable electronics as a form of protest, robotic forms of protest, counter-government-surveillance and privacy tools, and devices designed to improve an understanding of climate change. As an experiment in research dissemination, three hundred handmade copies were produced and were disseminated for free to targeted researchers that wanted to include the book as a part of academic curriculum, reviewers writing critical responses to the publication, libraries and nonprofits, or curators including the book in an exhibition. In this talk, Hertz will provide an overview of the project and provide a wider context for electronic objects built as a form of political protest. For more information, see Dr. Hertz is Canada Research Chair in Design & Media Art at Emily Carr University.