Soylent’s not purchased by the Mark Zuckerbergs or the Larry Pages or the other tech aristocrats […] Rather, it’s been taken up by white-collar workers and students destined for perpetual toil in the digital mills. Their embrace of life hacking represents the internalisation of management practices by the managed themselves.
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Morehshin Allahyari, an Iranian born artist, educator, and activist [….] is working on digitally fabricating [the] sculptures [ISIS destroyed] for a series called “Material Speculation” as part of a residency in Autodesk’s Pier 9 program. The first in the series is “Material Speculation: ISIS,” which, through intense research, is modeling and reproducing statues destroyed by ISIS in 2015. Allahyari isn’t just interested in replicating lost objects but making it possible for anyone to do the same: Embedded within each semi-translucent copy is a flash drive with Allahyari’s research about the artifacts, and an online version is coming. In this way, “Material Speculation: ISIS,” is not purely a metaphorical affront to ISIS, but a practical one as well. Allahyari’s work is similar to conservation efforts, including web-based Project Mosul, a small team and group of volunteers that are three-dimensionally modeling ISIS-destroyed artifacts based on crowd-sourced photographs. “Thinking about 3D printers as poetic and practical tools for digital and physical archiving and documenting has been a concept that I’ve been interested in for the last three years,” Allahyari says. Once she began exploring the works, she discovered a thorough lack of documentation. Her research snowballed. “It became extremely important for me to think about ways to gather this information and save them for both current and future civilizations.”