NEW YORK, United States, 05 September 2006
Computers as craft products
This movement is sustained by solid philosophical pillars. One of the basic concepts consists in treating computers as artisanal products. Felipe elaborated on this aspect: “investing in the perspective on the finality of the limits of technology arises exactly as a response to false ‘obsoletism’, forced by industry and publicity,” he explains pinpointing cyberpunk as the inspiration behind this type of thought.
“We intend to treat technology as something artisanal [from paper and pen to PDA’s with wi-fi], made up by mechanisms that can (and should) be dismantled, reconstructed and mixed. And its use distorted, recreated and redefined. It is our way of trying to create a more humane, participative world,” he goes on.
Investigating and experimenting
These thoughts are accompanied by research. Felipe notes an evolution in this regard: “we lost our rhythm of innovation when we assumed an excessively practical position. Over time, we understood that what would maintain our high level of interaction and innovation at MetaRecycling was a natural vocation towards experimentation.” It is something MetaRecyclers are proud about: “the possibility of stimulating cycles of permanent innovation (and, in this manner, the possibilities of error, of proposing new routes) is one of the things that unites us,” he tells.
The existing relationship between theory and practice has since been reformulated: “today we understand that an intermediate position is that which most consistently reflects our activities: theory through practice, and practice through theory.”
How can we manage to transmit this philosophy? Felipe is categorical: “to avoid treating [people] as mere users, or as a community ‘tended to’ by MetaRecycling (MR). […] Each person that enters a MR space is treated as a potential collaborator to the movement, not just as the potential consumer of a service.” He adds: “Those that only want to access the internet are generally not interested in what we have to offer: noisy environments, unstable computers and curious people,” he concludes.
Photo: Espora en Sacadura Cabral, popular neighbourhood in Saint Andrew, close to Sao Paulo.