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    Workshop, Take 2: Curtis Roth

    By meganmohney
    Nov 7, '17 10:12 PM EST

    Our 2nd workshop just ended, this time, led by Curtis Roth.

    Curtis Roth is a professor at OSU Knowlton School of Architecture and was out 2nd workshop leader. He has done 2 fellowships in the past 2 years--one at OSU in 2015 and one in Stuttgart, Germany in 2016. Both of those projects have to do with geography and labor practices of the internet.

    Curtis opposes the idea that the “cloud” eliminates distance, or that space collapses because of our email, file sharing, and skyping abilities. There are actually very physical objects and systems that allow those things to work, like fiber optic tubes running across the ocean floor. He developed a project for us this weekend to visualize that geography of the internet.

    Below I included a few images of his recent book “Some Dark Products.” In it, he investigates different instruments used by architects--like the detail drawing or specification sheet and performs experiments to show how they operate at a global scale and involve multiple parties and distributed authorship.

    Image 1: Gutter Details outsourced to a company Silvernine Systems,  and eventually sent to workers in North Korea. Curtis tracked where the files were opened by embedding a watermark. Eventually he rendered fluid moving through the final detail, but took out the line work.

    Image 2: In this experiment, Curtis sent specifications to painters who specialize in recreating famous originals. However, he was more interested in the environment in which these painters work, so he commissioned them to paint their studio along with the work.


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About this Blog

This blog will follow student experiences during the BECOMING DIGITAL workshops this semester at Taubman College. Organized by Ellie Abrons and Adam Fure, the program will invite 3 design practices to run a weekend-long experiment, project, or research. The invited designers are Jon May + Zeina Koreitem of MILLIONS, Curtis Roth, and Vivian Lee + James Macgillivray of LAMAS. This semester will be devoted to investigating and challenging the digital environment in which live and work.

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