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2015 STS Making and Doing Program

Meeting Home | Making & Doing Main | Making and Doing 2015 | Category: Open

BlackBox Vending Machine

Southwick, Dan, University of Toronto/Critical Making Lab

Co-Authors:

Gabby Resch, University of Toronto/Critical Making Lab
Matt Ratto, University of Toronto/Critical Making Lab

The Blackbox Vending Machine is an interactive touchscreen-based kiosk that will ask conference participants to make a series of ethical, moral, social, and political decisions as part of a “maker culture express” experience. The name of this project satirizes the official slogan of Redbox, which reads: “For one dollar, you buy 2 to 3 hours of happiness.” It is also a sendup of two common tropes we regularly encounter in our lab's 3D printing-related work: the Star Trek replicator, a media technofuture black box promising that we will one day be able to easily and unproblematically materialize everything, by rearranging subatomic particles at the command of a human voice; and the MakerBot Replicator 3D printer, the preeminent black box in emerging “maker” culture, which trades on a similar promise in its marketing. Finally, the title acknowledges “express” culture embedded in these boxes, each of which is positioned as a device of immediacy and impulse.

Link to project: criticalmaking.com

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