minds, intuitions, and choreographies
become different. Not better, different.
We begin to approach a nexus of
expectation and surprise, and learn
to see the value in the practice itself.
Crafts-machine-ship joins body and
material, the self with the apparatus,
and makes and remakes all those
involved. If we succumb to its flows, feel
and follow the tides, act and react to its
rhythms, we find the nuances within
action; we see difference where we may
not have seen it before.
The desire for differences is the
drawing-in of crafts-machine-ship.
To design or to make in this way is the
determined, grim, deliberate return
to being the machine day after day. By
doing this we are repeating human/
nonhuman material engagements that
not only expect different outcomes but
demand them. The shared autonomy
of the machine as contraption jolts
the machine from its delegated
automation. This is to imagine the
new as a matter of process as well as to
encounter failure. Failures, like scraps
on the floor, abandoned patterns, or
gloriously misplaced pride in previous
things, become surprises and new
differences that can delight just as
well. The shared autonomy of digital
crafts-machine-ship lets us live with, if
not encourage, the errors and failures
of machines. By entering into the ring
again and again, we engage with our
materialities and capabilities as part
machine, in which we make anew of
our own failures.
Collaborating with machines is
the desire for differences, pursued as
a shared autonomy to think anew, to
discover and fail.
WITH THE MACHINE
In this text, we have returned over
and over to physical making that we
allowed, even encouraged, to act as our
template for thinking about machines.
This making is a way of thinking with
our hands and then letting the resulting
things support the imagining and
talking about ideas that are neither fully
understood nor articulated in language.
The ideas, objects, and concepts
presented here are active props that
become animated and investigated
through their own production. But more
than that, the act of making, spending
time on repetitive tasks, and counting
in delegated automation lets us think
and allows to arise the imagining of us,
things, and machines, with whom we
may share autonomy.
In telling this story, we wanted to
address the spirit in which we work,
share our hunches and the things we
faintly know. We wanted to tell of the
things that are not done yet (at least not
by us), that are becoming and unfolding.
We wanted to find a way to allow
these notions to remain fragile and
We wrote this, finishing each other’s
sentences and telling each other stories.
We wrote as if the text itself were a
machine with desires for outcomes,
better work, and new differences. We
wrote, like we weave and make, with
and as machines, and we wanted to
1. Albers, A. The Weaver 6, 1 (Jan.–Feb.
2. Haraway, D. A Cyborg Manifesto. Univ. of
Minnesota Press, 1984.
3. Jefferies, J. Pattern, patterning. In Inventive
Methods, The Happening of the Social. C. Lury
and N. Wakeford, eds. Routledge, 2012.
4. Winner, L. Autonomous Technology,
Technics-out-of-Control as a Theme in
Political Thought. The MIT Press, 1978.
5. Untranslatable Danish word roughly
denoting something like an organized
mess or a medley.
6. Valente, C. M. The Girl Who Fell Beneath
Fairyland and Led the Revels There. Feiwel
& Friends, 2012.
7. Ryan, J. and Andersen, K. 821 words and
20 images. In No Patent Pending, Self-Made
Performative Media, iii editions with MER.
Paper Kunsthalle, 2014.
Kristina Andersen is concerned with
how we can allow each other to imagine
our possible technological futures through
digital craftsmanship and collaborations with
intelligent machines, in the context of material
practices of soft, fiber-based things. How can
we innovate, design, and act around that which
is yet to be imagined?
Ron Wakkary investigates the changing
nature of interaction design in response to
everyday design and social practices, focusing
on everyday creativity, design artifacts for
research, and speculative reasoning. He aims
to uncover new knowledge through the crafting
of artifacts to help understand design and its
relations to technologies.
Laura Devendorf is an artist and technologist
working predominantly in human-computer
interaction and design research. She designs
and develops systems that embody alternative
visions for human-machine relations within
creative practice. Her recent work focuses on
Alex McLean is a British musician and
researcher. He is notable for his key role in
developing live coding as a musical practice,
including for creating TidalCycles, a live-
coding environment that allows programmer-
musicians to code simply and quickly, and for
coining the term Algorave with Nick Collins.
DOI: 10.1145/3373644 © 2020 ACM 1072-5520/20/01 $15.00