Apr 292020

By: Atanur Andic, 10 May 2019

This paper aims to describe and analyze the making of the project called “Our Technology is a Little Shy” in the practices of critical making. This project was completed as part of the course Critical Making in the program of Arts Technology and Emerging Communication at the University of Texas at Dallas. The paper briefly explains: how did the critical aspect and the physical shaping of the project emerged, what are the various technologies and methods used, what were some of the major troubleshooting faced in the making, how does the final object addresses and reflects some of socio-cultural issues that were aimed in the beginning, and finally, how it can be positioned as a product of the critical making.

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Apr 292020

By: David Adelman, May 8, 2019

From my current vantage point, the end of the Fall 2018 semester at ATEC feels inexorably distant. This is the point at which I first encountered ATCM 6388: Critical Making as a course offering, the point at which I first began to contend with what it would mean to be a “maker.” at least, in the context of the course. And, to be clear, not just any maker, but a maker with a disability. After all, I use a wheelchair to get around, I have significant issues with fine and gross motor control. And, there is the ever-present specter of spasticity.

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Apr 212020

By: Cameron Irby, 10 May 2018

A phrase that I’ve only recently encountered yet hear quite often around Fashioning Circuits is that sometimes we must fall back into the theory. I’m still new to the practices of critical making, so the phrase has mostly struck me as a backup plan. If one’s project doesn’t work as intended, find a way to make it work. Find some theory that says that failure is okay and that we learn more from mistakes than perfection. The idea that one should retroactively apply theory struck me as one of necessity rather than ingenuity. As I worked on my own project, I quickly found that phrase to have a new and much more expansive meaning.

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Apr 142020

By: Carlin Flores, Spring 2019

In the Spring semester of 2019, my Critical Making course with Dr. Kim Knight drove me to tackle the project I’d avoided for years: a full-size quilt. Marriam Webster defines a quilt as: “a bed coverlet of two layers of cloth filled with padding (such as down or batting) held in place by ties or stitched designs.” A brief definition for an impossibly lengthy process. Dubbed 10,003 Stitches, this quilt pushed me in ways I had never experienced and opened my eyes to a new world of making.

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Apr 122020


The Fashioning Circuits lab team is still meeting virtually during our plague semester. We have decided to engage in one word weekly prompts inspired by Cecilia Vicuña’s Journal of Objects. Participants quick create an object from materials they source from their homes. Given the glitchy distancing, we are all experiencing some members of the group heard “communicate” some members heard “create” for the prompt.

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Apr 072020

By: Mohammed Mizanur Rashid, 10 May 2019

Critical Making as an academic discourse, and the second maker project as an individual (and collaborative?) endeavor have both been empowering and emancipatory. I say this not only from a personal feeling of achievement, but also because I feel that now I am equipped with an analytic lens that enables me to see how both ‘critically making things’ and ‘making critical things’ work in tandem towards achieving a set of goals. On a personal level, the projects which I have completed as the requirements for this course have inspired me to reassess my position and rethink my identity as a scholar alone – I have now begun to reimagine my future endeavors as a scholar-maker. While the first maker project was guided and instructional, the second project challenged imaginative diversity, and demanded more individual imprint. It is here that the experiences were particularly productive because, Critical Making, then for me, became a way to reflect on the shifting of perspectives (Boggs et. al., 324). I was not only engaging in discussions and dialogues on critical issues that interest me, but was actively making an object that would invite critical engagement and demand attention from a wide variety of publics and counter-publics. The affordances of the latter, at least for me in this particular temporal conjuncture, outweigh the affordances of the former.

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Dec 072014


Figure 1: The Surveillance Recognition gym shirt

It is acknowledgeable that throughout human history, people have always recognized and maintained a sense of privacy. Nestled betwixt a plethora of issues facing this realization is the idea that there does not exist a single and precise definition of what exactly privacy constitutes. Dated research (circa 1881) presented an oversimplified yet often quoted idea that privacy was the “right to be let alone” (Craven Jr, 1979). It wasn’t until a few years later that the idea that privacy deserved legal protection began to circulate, spawning mass intellectual debates on the issue. Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis produced a highly influential essay in Harvard Law Review in 1890 that introduced the fundamental principle that “the individual shall have full protection in person and in property… it is our purpose to consider whether the existing law affords a principle which can properly be invoked to protect the privacy of the individual; and, if it does, what the nature and extent of such protection is” (p. 37). In American society, as well as other western cultures, one of the most clear cut and expected notions of privacy involves the ability to control exposure of one’s body (Konvitz, 1966). The author discusses how culturally we are made to believe that being naked is something to be seen as shameful (as passages from the bible give way to this), and we have a right to not be exposed without or consent. While this project doesn’t focus on the distribution of anything pertaining to a violation of someone’s right to maintain privacy of their naked body, it does touch on having a right to not be publicly displayed to others, whether it be in concern to their body, clothing, etc., within certain public or private spheres without their consent. In discussing video voyeurism, Lance Rothenberg said, “The failure of criminal law to recognize a legitimate expectation of privacy in the public space tacitly grants the video voyeur a license to act with impunity, and leaves victims with little or no recourse” (2011, p. 1146). Voyeurism in this case is the action of spying on persons engaged in intimate behavior, such as undressing or other sexual activity considered to be private nature.

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Dec 262013

Giannetti painting of a woman lounging, onto which Mike Licth has superimposed a laptop

Figure 1. “A Pompeian Beauty, Blogging, after Raffaele Giannetti” by Flickr user Mike Licht

Cross-posted from http://kimknight.com

In just a few weeks it will be time to bundle up and head to Chicago for the 2014 meeting of the Modern Language Association. I will be presenting at the convention on Saturday in a panel called “Making Digital Counterpublics.” Continue reading »