Mike Phillips (UK) - The End of Things

Prague - December 7, 2012

Mike Phillips presents his paper within the panel Beyond Uncertainty at International conference Mutamorphosis in Prague, Czech Republic.

Just as the ‘thing’ gets its own Internet its significance as a foci of knowledge within a variety of disciplines is dissolving. This dissolution can be clearly seen in microbiology where there has been a steady shift of focus from solitary bacterium to an understanding of quorum-sensing in bacterial communities. At a larger scale, a fly is no longer recognised as a ‘body’ but through an analysis of its DNA and a human more clearly understood as a constituent of a crowd, a demographic or an entry in a National Health Service database. Architecture collapses in importance in the context of the complexity of the urban environment, whether it is the connecting temporal tendrils of traffic flow or an underlying web of a sewage system.

‘The End of Things’ explores a set of technologies and processes being developed by i-DAT that offer strategies for understanding these trans-scalar shifts. Framed as ‘Operating Systems’ they embrace social, biological, architectural and ecological data harvesting and manifestation. These OS’s recognise a cultural shift where suddenly a rose by any other name is less significant than the complex temporal.

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