Lab Waves: The historical logic of Shared Machine Shop evolution


2017-06-29 @ OSI/Mediaccions seminar, UOC, Barcelona

0. Overview

  1. Motivation
  2. Theory
  3. Lab Waves
  4. Discussion
  5. Conclusion

1. Motivation

“The night in which all cows are black.”

Point: Gershenfeld (2005); Wolf et al. (2015); Dafermos (2014); Dickel, Ferdinand, and Petschow (2014); Kera (2014); Kostakis, Niaros, and Giotitsas (2014); Lindtner, Hertz, and Dourish (2014); J. aka k. Moilanen (2009); J. Moilanen (2012); J. Moilanen and Vadén (2013); Raison (2010); Siefkes (2011); Toombs, Bardzell, and Bardzell (2014).

Counter-point: Alberts and Oldenziel (2014); Maxigas (2015); Smith et al. (2017); Keane and Zhao (2012); Lindtner (2014); Lindtner and Li (2012); Say Chan (2014).

2. Theory

Critique & recuperation in technological cycles. (Boltanski and Chiapello 2005; Barron 2013; Söderberg and Delfanti 2015; Maxigas 2017)

3. Lab Waves

Genres of Shared Machine Shops:

  • R.E.S.I.S.T.O.R.S. (1966 New Jersey, NY)
    • Hacklabs (1995 Catania; 2002 Bologna)
    • Hackerspaces (2007 Berlin; 2008 New York)
    • Makerspaces (2005 San Francisco, CA; 2006 San Mateo, CA)
    • Fab Labs (2001 Boston, MA; Gershenfeld 2005)
    • Incubators/Accelerators (2005 Cambridge, MA; 2010)
    • Tech Shops (2006 Menlo Park, CA)
      • Men’s Sheds (Tongala, 1998)



In a hacklab

In a hackerspace

Actual Waves

4. Discussion

  • Light
  • Access
  • Output
  • Integration

5. Conclusion

The “lab format” is mobilised by a wide range of social groups for different ends and with varying results.

Shared Machine Shops are progressively integrated into the capitalist system through successive genres.

Earlier genres sometimes legitimise later ones.


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