About

12:01am | 02/14/2018
Daniel Tompkins update

Dear reader,

This is Daniel Tompkins, an artist designing and developing l-o-o-s-e-d.net. This site is meant to be an incubator for critical discourse in technology and politics— technopolitics.

In 2016, I began researching the state of the Internet and media in the United States; especially as it compared to the physical infrastructure, organization, and culture of the "street network", or SNET, in Cuba.

LOOSED began as a platform to present the reading responses assigned in Professor Nicco Mele's class: The Internet and Political Campaigns. However, I hope it will grow into a much more robust platform for exploring how our life "online" interacts with what we do in the real, physical world.

It is, perhaps, an unlikely subject for someone who started their academic career in architecture— but, what is architecture after all? What is it an architect does? What does the "architectural problem" entail?

One of my first mentors likened the architect to a conductor, directing a most unique ochestra. Architecture arguably meets at the intersection of law, politics, culture, ecology, engineering, technology, art and design.

The architect coordinates the collective efforts of these respective experts, all the while appealing to the client's interests. The neat set of drawings that they submit is not only a physical documentation of the building and its site, but an implicit description of its function and purpose.

The problem architects face is complex, and in many ways it demands much more than brick and mortar. As architecture and other disciplines become entangled with technology, it's become evident that space is both physical as well as virtual.

This transition is occurring across a vast number of professions, and dictates a hybrid— interdisciplanary— function. The analog networks that once influenced the built environment have morphed with a digital infrastructure.

This marks the introduction of a new virtual media to be considered in conjunction with the physical networks and economies at play.

For years I've used "l00sed" as my username for a variety of platforms online— meant to be a play on "lucid". When at one point I was poring over digital music and producers, I imagined it could be my DJ name on SoundCloud.

It turned out, however, to be a perfect title for the LOOSED project. As the past tense of the verb "loose"— as in, to release, or free— "loosed" ironically became a wonderful call-to-action. In these pages, I hope you will find some sense of liberation.

As a current student graduate of the school of design at Harvard— particularly, within the discipline of Art, Design and the Public Domain— I'm excited to see the role of this research in supporting local media and activism, and the curation of a digital public domain.

I hope it will empower other intellectuals, technologists, activists, and digital citizens alike to interrogate the possibilities of a digital "architecture"— a connected, virtual space. I appreciate your interest, your dedication, and your support— and I hope you will join me in promoting further discussion, and action.

Updates

Moved to Pittsburgh with my girlfriend Natalie! I'm currently I was working as a designer and digital fabricator at Iontank— a company that produces new media art installations for companies. I got to work on some really cool projects in my year-and-a-half there— including the Academic Cancer Center sculpture, now hanging in the atrium of Allegheny General Hospital's recent addition.

I've also been volunteering with the folks at MetaMesh. They're a local non-profit that's working to bypass the ISPs by building a free and public network across the Burgh's neighborhoods. And (if you're reading this, guys) I know I need to commit more time to helping them out!

More recently, I accepted a job as a Web Developer at Shift Collaborative— an incredible group of people working on websites and marketing for some other incredible (often local) businesses.

As an additional note, I'd like to thank Alicia Valencia, who designed the loosed logo for our collaborative project Freego— which can be found in my portfolio. It is a mashup of the Statue of Liberty's torch with the Wi-Fi symbol, which is intended to symbolize wireless/online freedom.

If you'd like to become a contributing writer, organize a related project, get an invitation to l00sed.slack, or just talk, please send me an email.

Warm regards,

Daniel Tompkins
dan@l-o-o-s-e-d.net