Motivation for the Future

Briefly (maximum 2 pages) describe your motivation for applying to the program, taking into account your objectives for the programme, your expectations towards the programme and the institute and your professional expectations after completion of your studies.

I love things that seem too fantastic to be true, yet give you a spark of hope, that they could also be entirely possible. I create the future. I am inspired by a quote from the book Profiles of the Future –written in 1960- that reads “if this book seems completely reasonable and all my extrapolations convincing, I shall not have succeeded in looking far ahead; for the fact about the future of which we can be certain is that it will be utterly fantastic.” I want to look this far ahead in the domains of art, media and information-technology, and develop a position from where I can make this fantastic future more possible.

Recently I watched an episode of Black Mirror, the British television drama about the influence of technology on our society. It was both terrifying and fascinating. It explores the idea that it will be possible to recreate a deceased partner out of personal media archives stored in the cloud. The resulting story is to me an exploration that pushes the boundaries of what would be possible with current technology. It focuses on establishing an emotional and physical relationship with an artificially intelligent object that mimics the real world based on personal data that was produced by the real world. As in the other episodes the end result is a dystopia, where technology cannot equal the ‘reality’ of our world, and we as humans lose control.

While I appreciate the value of the series’ cautionary message, I’d like to focus on a more positive output.
As Black Mirror does in creating their profiles of a projected future, I like to do and use current research to create the outlines of a future goal, visualize the steps by which it may be accomplished, and make it happen by design. Because “it’s better to learn how to swim than to complain about the rising water”. I’d rather use my energy to direct the future in a positive way.

In my short slideshow presentation I show an experimental project with trust in media which I performed some years ago. This experimental project raised some serious ethical questions and in hindsight I touched on an early version of these thoughts about responsibility in the digital age. Raising these kind of questions by experimental projects is something I wish to continue exploring through the course.

From the perspective of my motivation, some questions raise I’d like to answer during my MA studies:
1. How can we increase awareness and responsibility (as a user and as a designer) for creating and filing high quality digital archives on the web?
2. To what extent does the interface design of social media tools and features influence the quality of the archives?
3. What new tools do we need to stay in control of recreating personality and establish emotional relationships with artificial intelligence?

I once read a small essay of Petran Kockelkoren called Techniek: kunst, kermis en theater (Technology: art, village fair and theater) in which he states that artists and designers have an important role in the domestication of new technology. I put as a goal to fulfill this role by designing possible applications for new technology and creating the context to accept them.

Expectations of the program
I expect an environment that stimulates and challenges me to continue my research in how to shape the future. I expect to expand my existing knowledge and skills in creating visual and physical output. I expect to be skilled to deliver a great and efficient prototype-process myself to pitch for new directions. I expect to develop insight, and create space for collaboration from outside of the program by publishing during research.

Professional expectations
To develop my role as designer and from there increase my responsibility as a project leader.
To turn the outcomes in at least one marketable product.
To continue working on a developing and accessible vision.

The future now, is in my head. I’d like to get it out.