Abstract

This paper looks at how speculative fiction can provide a design space to explore the effects of technologies for critical interpretation. Using Trina: A Design Fiction as a case study, the paper builds upon Lucy Suchman’s study into how technology teams design “the human” in tandem with the computer, asking can there be a model of “the human” suited to technologies for subjective judgment? Looking closely at the characters in Trina, we see individuals whose capacities, specificities, social histories, and individual biographies inform the degree of agency that each has with the writing technologies that define their work and worth. Accounts of writers and their inscription technologies found in recent literature from media and literary studies further demonstrate the contingent nature of textual composition. Rather than look for a generalized human-computer fit, the paper argues for the design of story-worlds in which specific humans, non-humans, and networks are designed in one and the same gesture, revealing the productive misalignments and contested boundaries that define their interactions.

Keywords:

design fiction; human-computer interaction; writing technologies; digital humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Scenes of Writing

This paper looks at how speculative fiction can provide a design space to explore the effects of technologies for critical interpretation. Using Trina: A Design Fiction as a case study, the paper builds upon Lucy Suchman’s study into how technology teams design “the human” in tandem with the computer, asking can there be a model of “the human” suited to technologies for subjective judgment? Looking closely at the characters in Trina, we see individuals whose capacities, specificities, social histories, and individual biographies inform the degree of agency that each has with the writing technologies that define their work and worth. Accounts of writers and their inscription technologies found in recent literature from media and literary studies further demonstrate the contingent nature of textual composition. Rather than look for a generalized human-computer fit, the paper argues for the design of story-worlds in which specific humans, non-humans, and networks are designed in one and the same gesture, revealing the productive misalignments and contested boundaries that define their interactions.

 

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