This paper shows digital objects, and particularly smartphones and similar artifacts, as objects in a process of maturation through conceptual, technological, and physical symbioses. Three major symbioses are presented: The first one has to do with the way memory, preservation and archival urges are integrated in digital technology. The second one has to do with 21st century breakthroughs in computational power. The third one is about the way digital objects have adapted to our physical interactions and created novel gestures and movement patterns. Following this interpretation, the experimental category of Black Objects is presented, to serve both as a projectional theory of digital objects and a symbiotic open-ended conceptual method for understanding ubiquitous design techniques and alternatives design-wise, politically and socially. The name of the category is derived from the computer science abstraction of the Black Box as a system, the inner workings of which are not known or observable as opposed to the racially and politically defined White or Clear Box, a system the internal process of which can be observed but not altered. Black Objects are proposed as a speculative mechanism of possible symbioses for the re-conceptualisation of digital artifacts in a manner less oriented to the articulation of application and systems warranting control on the user and more towards a focus on social, psychological, and political results.
Student, PhD, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
DIGITAL OBJECTS, SMARTPHONE, OBJECT-ORIENTED ONTOLOGY, SYMBIOSES, BLACK BOX, SPECULATIVE DESIGN