Week 2: Theory in Practice

Theory

“An ideal or hypothetical set of facts, principles, or circumstances.”

“A proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural and subject to experimentation, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.”

The definition of theory can lead you down many paths, all of which are applicable to the concept. This week we looked closely at the concept of theory, understanding what the word in itself means and how it relates back to research.

As a class, we established that the concept of theory is a set of discourse (characteristics) aligned to the interaction of the practice. We discovered that theory related heavily to the contemplation and speculation of the world as an act of reflection. In a way that we are moving away from being stuck in discourse to a solution of something could be change or re-imagined.

After creating the foundation of theory we moved forward and linked theory with research. Our final conclusion stirring towards the notion that theory is empty without research.

From this analysis, we formed groups to talk about our theories and discourse in the theme of futures which we had been discussing last week. We looked at sources that reflected the theme of futures and produced theories based on what we had read/seen as well as how we interpreted the information.

Looking at what Briana and I had brought in as a stepping stone for the theme, we realised there was a reoccurring trend of the theme futures being significantly focused on the advancement of technology.

Excerpt from What Is the Future of Art? by Hans Ulrich Obrist

“I address the impossibility of predicting the future in Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, the book I wrote with Douglas Coupland and Shumon Basar. The internet is changing the structure of our brains and the structure of our planet in extraordinary ways, so quickly that we haven’t yet developed a proper vocabulary for it. Technological progress has accelerated to the point that the future is happening to us far faster than we could ever have anticipated. This new world is what we call “extreme present,” a time in which it feels impossible to maintain pace with the present, never mind to chart the future.”

A quotation from Daniel Pink:

“The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artist, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic ‘right-brain’ thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t”

We discussed the notion that futures are an individual experience and without the ability to move forward and accept changes around you, your future is almost obsolete.

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We also looked at the discourse between nature and technology, we tried to theorise and define futures without the running notion of technology but came to the conclusion that it was almost impossible to do.

We came to the realisation that without nature we wouldn’t have technology and without technology, we wouldn’t be able to improve the quality of nature. We discussed that technology is based and made off of our natural resources and technology allows us to improve our natural quality of life.

Our theory becomes futures as a form of technology and how without technology we have no future.

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One thought on “Week 2: Theory in Practice

  1. Your analysis of theory is spot on! It’s a great definition to propel your work into. The quotations are also a good foundation to start getting ideas of futures, it’s such a vast concept I like your technological slant on futures because the way we are going that is inevitable. The notion of the ‘extreme present’ is a really nice term, and the quote draws a connection to time nicely, which I think is such an important aspect of futures.

    Liked by 1 person

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