Felipe Fonseca on Thu, 29 Aug 2019 23:12:11 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Maker Movement is abandoned by its corporate sponsors; throws in the towel

Hey nettimers,

With the risk of being too late to the party, I want to thank everyone involved in this discussion. It was only last week that I had time to read it, and it came just on time, as I have just moved to the UK to join the OpenDOTT programme in Dundee (https://opendott.org) as a PhD student. I wasn't so sure a couple weeks ago, but now it seems my contribution to the project may somehow be related to a critical perspective on the so-called maker culture, and perhaps trying to think of a commons of material resources in city-wide contexts. It would be great to reconnect to whoever is interested in reuse, repair, upcycling and other ways to seek healthier (and more magical indeed) ways to relate to objects/things.

Jaromil, thanks for the mention. There is an improved version of that medium post here - https://is.efeefe.me/stuff/gambiarra-repair-culture , as well as a couple other texts on similar themes.

All the best, now away from Bolsonaroland but pretty close to Brexitburg.


Em sáb, 22 de jun de 2019 às 16:19, Garnet Hertz <garnethertz@gmail.com> escreveu:
I made a Google Form to collect ideas in regards to an organization to fill the gap left after Make threw in the towel and closed their doors. The full responses are included below. At this point, it looks like something will be organized for sure... or at least I'll be starting up something. Thanks to Mitch AltmanKaren Marcelo and members of Nettime for sharing. There are piles of good ideas here: which of these do you think are the most important?

Here are the raw, unedited responses to the question "If you were running an open source maker-oriented organization that filled the gap left by Maker Media ceasing operations, how would you run it and what would you focus on?" 

76 responses:
• Model it after dorkbot but instead of having meetings it can be geared around smaller regional Faires
• I would run it as a non profit and make sure that there are people from all over the world representing. Not only so US focused.
• Focus on low tech and tech critism...as much as possible far from western culture...let say the gambiara creative movement in LATAM (brazil) or Cuban style repair culture
guerilla, community envisioned and run publications/workshops/happenings without the 'red tape' so often discussed as part of the Maker Media legacy. so, no forced branding, no forced commonalities (other than perhaps a shared manifesto), no minimum number of participants or fundraising requirement for it to be a 'real' event of the community, and much less of a focus on attracting, and then satisfying, corporate sponsors.
• Should be about critical making, open source, skill sharing, critical thinking and more...
• I think the most important thing is to help local people meet up with each other in person. This should go far beyond people who already go to a hackerspace - this is something that Make did well by bringing together all sorts of people from children, university students, hackers, artists, etc. I don't think this has to be large scale.
• Member-run co-operative; leadership positions only for women; women-only days; focus on understanding biases built into technologies and imagining ways around this (critical technical practice)
• Money. Without money you can’t go far
• Projects how tos. Wait. That's Instructables. Never mind.
• cats, and i'd not run it... i would do unconferences, get space, and allow people, provide limited scheduling facilities.
• Support groups with least access to money, education, and resources to setup, lead, and run such an entity.
• I would focus on local groups with local, f2f contacts and a (funding-)mechanism to facilitate the exchange of primarily people as visiting makers instead data-platforming and global marketing.
• A mostly decentralised movement that prioritises shared ideas over branding, focusing on providing easy-access models for small, local communities to start shared spaces and hold events.
• I'd make an organisation of organisations, and invite contributions from different organisations. If I was making a publication, I think I'd go with an interview format and I'd interview two or more organisations at once - inviting them to discuss their operations, their experiences and their hopes, together.
• Ideally, a new organization would be a resource, and not an organization. I think open-source maker communities are singular to the their local communities and their local interests. A global community that allowed the specificity of local/regional interests to shine is more important to me than an 'engineered' (imposed?) idea of maker-dom. I enjoyed the broad definition of making that Maker Media cast, but I think the organization was actually dominated by specific technologies and approaches to technology. I'd like to see an organization that could get past that.
• I would focus on positive technology that attempts to help us instead of just consumer goods
• Community building by featuring projects by makers through events and publications.
• I'm not sure if it needs a replacement, aren't the maker faires run independently? Also a printed magazine isn't something that many technology interested people buy in 2019. A website that collects nice projects and tutorials would be enough.
• Education of kids. the best energy seemed to be in helping people learn
• On content by the community (electronic media) and events
• I would run it as a collective that will use their power to make an impact in society. Use the power of us, humans to make our home planet better. I would focus on philosophy and ideas, since ideas are bulletproof and no one can’t take them away.
• n my market no matter the name of a brand, people do not come because the brand comes to create community
• Non-profit, volunteer-based, brutally and radically self-sustaining.
• a bit like hackaday but with a broader focus
• Celebrating and sharing builds.
• I currently part of a maker oriented NGO in Mexico, and our experience is that there are a lot of oportunities to fund and create open content. We get funds from bigger organizations like USAID, Save theCHildren and others to fund open programs like meteorito.io or robolution,mx, that anyone who speak spanish can use.
• Sustainability is challenge. What happened to Maker Media will happen again if you are a single entity trying to make ends meet. I would rather take a different approach. More about it below.
• I would still run it as a media and marketing company. Similar to how many makerspaces stay funded by offering production, design and development services utilizing their existing resources to for-profit companies. By providing some form of value-added business in a tangential indistry separate from the niche maker media was filling, (I know, you had the magazine, but magazines aren't big money makers these days. I'm thinking of something like a peer-to-peer lending platform that allows makerspaces and small businesses to fund expansion or a marketing and development support agency and platform that sells a specific set of services or products. ) that then turns around and uses it's profits to fund the sort of programs Maker Media was running. Does it suck to end up spending 80% of your time designing a UX system for a loan platform instead of planning maker faires? Yep. But a separate business organization that just has a charter to provide funding for a maker-centric organization out of it's profits can survive a bad turn a lot easier than the two being the same organization.
• Reach out to schools and do lots of mini fairies and training to get kids ready for the faire...
• Youth and education. If you inspire the next generation you guarantee longevity.
• I would not take VC. I would make an education and technology outreach non profit. I would make it just an events company, focussing on a few big, profitable events in a year in less expensive locations plus smaller community events. It doesn't have to make a killing, just enough to make ends meet.
• I am always more interested in seeing what strange things individuals make instead of groups.
• alternative energy
• I'd focus on reaching kids who don't have a ton of money, and teaching them how to get started on a shoestring in the world of making. Stop with satellite design and get into how to use openscad, how to tune a budget printer, things like that. Maybe teach people how to bring this stuff into schools and get started there. Maybe showcase some kids programming stuff each issue.
• Exclusive: Magazine, limited pre-release hardware, baubles. Growth: YouTube
• As a non profit.
• Focus on education to the widest audience. Not sure of the best model for running.
• A shared interest organization like Foundation or Cooperation on regional based clusters. Focus should be on life long learning and sharing resources and knowledge.
• Not For Profit - Focus on inclusion and education of the core making skills that are developed through designing, building and coding.
• coop, not too pricy, but not free
• Accessible workshops and showcases of diverse creators.
• Event organization to have people meeting all together
• A web/editorial site, with a modest branching off to video. I would not do the maker fairies and events because I am not good at event planning. But I would TOTALLY love to go to some more maker faires as both an attendee, and a presenter
• Building projects together as a group.
• I would run it with the goal of educating and providing tools to communities regarding electronics and maker skills
• Non-profit. Non-exclusive. Encouraging. Run by a team who think deeply about the impacts of their actions and go to great lengths to learn both in their areas of personal interest and in areas that are for the good of the global community.
• Non-profit with a benevolent dictator. Org holds the brand, collects grants, and gives out money city by city to recognize what people are already doing. The org would also certify maker educational content and products as a revenue stream through an open access review process, similar to academic journal reviewing. That said, primary focus would be on building awareness.
• Online daily content(curating from sources worldwide), long term brand partnership, spotlight on the makers themselves, low on staff- use local partners for all events
• how to run an organization is a question for an online poll?, I don't know even how to cook
• i would focus on keeping on supporting the community
• Creativity, diversity, inclusivity
• I run a Bangalore based social business by the name of "Makespace and Open Source Creativity" (www.bangaloremakepsace.org) and we are fully sustainable and have been operating successfully for the last 5 years. We gain revenues by hosting and conducting workshops for the local maker community as well as organize multiple events where the maker community can come together, collaborate in real time, and create connections to start their own "maker ventures". We focus on the "social business" model so it avoids incurring massive debts and costs. Everything is volunteer driven.
• The way it was run isn't a problem. It wasn't a leadership issue,it was a lack of sponsorship.The big tech companies didn't care anymore. Perhaps big events should be nixed in exchange for small local maker faire events.
• Let the healthy events operate themselves. Create a minimalist amount of requirements.
• Forming a non-profit board would be the first step. I personally like consensus-based models like the Circle Way with traditional models like Parlimentary procedure used as needed. I think major focus should be placed on education (NOT just for kids!), supporting novel technologies and models especially when it comes to sustainability, and providing access to the tools, skills and mindsets behind making to diverse communities.
• I subscribed to their magazine once and while I found it interesting, everything seemed a bit advanced and over my head. It would help if they had some material for beginners.
• Make it a playground open for all
• I imagine that organization embedded inside individual educational institutions and organisation. That way it becomes financially sustainable and viable.
• It'd continue to run and focus on education.
• Too tough to answe succinctly , maker faire
• Community is the critical component, and events like Maker Faire have been amazing places to visit that help keep the community active and contributing even when remote.
• Critical social maker issues.... improving urban environments, developing countries, citizen infrastructure solutions
• I would operate with advocacy and accessibility in mind. I would focus on how the maker movement can provide opportunity and equity to people underserved by institutionally-oriented models of production, research and business. I would look for opportunities not only to generate and platform content to this end, but also to find synergy with peers and indies. I would seek to publish quality instructional material, and also journalism on the maker community. I think a guiding principle should be elevating the maker movement's reach and relevancy in local economies.
• If i were? I think, I am
• I believe that Maker Faire actually had difficulty in getting makers to register over time because of bad feelings due to the fact that the business model was for-profit but MF gave no equity to the makers, who are literally the reason for the event. I would hope that such a future organization would be not-for-profit. In the long term, maybe it could even sponsor makers with projects of enormous scope.
• An open source franchise model with a common virtual platform to share "how-to", technical help forums, show and tell, etc. This should be supported with low member fee. Also needed are blueprints on how to have a brick and morter makerspace connecting into the franchise model.
• Would change the name, like Tech or DIY meetups.
• Membership based, maybe with organizational members (like hackerspaces)
• 501c3, The community
• My favorite part of Maker Media was the Maker Faires.
• Considering the raise of streaming platforms as YouTube, I would focus on keep doing content and publish or online, keeping the already big community around Maker media.
• Kids first, then hobbyists
• Stop trying to claim the word "Make" as IP and focus on enabling and building the community through faires, meetups, clubs, forums, talks, etc. Give makers a place to go to meet each other, and an audience for their works. Don't promote "maker tax" businesses, but show how DIY can be cheap enough for everybody. Less STEM, less kids, more technical.
• I would run it as a distributed co-op, focussing on sustainability and radical change.
• I'd focus on highlighting the work of underrepresented folks from the start. Without conscious effort, it's easy to show a fairly homogeneous subset of the community.

These are the raw/unedited responses for the question "If you had to pick only one thing for an open source maker-oriented organization to focus on, what would it be?"

75 responses
• Community
• Smaller annual festivals (east bay maker Faire is a good size)
organizing small gatherings so makers can meet makers
• maximising the good maker/craft engagements already happening on the grassroots level, rather than taking credit for them.
• Curating
• Small local events for people to show their projects and meet each other.
• Feminism
• Anything and Everything - once the money part of the game is taken care of. Without money, there is no chance to make
• Project how tos. Ugh.
• cats
• For making to focus on local need.
• I would focus on facilitating small-to-medium group ownership of open source projects as common-pool resources.
• Increasing diversity of the maker community by lowering the barrier to entry (financially, geographically, socially).
• Sustainability & Engagement. Yes, I know it looks like two things, but it's not. By this I don't just mean environmental sustainability, I also mean economic and social sustainability: Who's engaged? How is that broadened over time? And how does the organisation sustain itself? In many cases, the answer to "How does the organisation sustain itself?" will lead, by implication, to answering the question "Who is engaged?". (eg: A fablab that's in the orbit of a university will tend only to engage students! eg2: A glossy magazine about the "maker lifestyle" will tend only to engage middle class makers.)
• empowerment
• Teaching self sufficiency
• Ensuring at least one big event was happening annually to get makers together showing their projects.
• Accumulate interesting and useful projects, ideas etc.
• Helping kids create
• Events
• The idea that we can hack the planet for good
• in the community and not in the brands
• Facilitating cooperation, since this is the main thing that individual/independent makers lack in comparison to larger (corporate) structures.
• tutorials
• Celebrating and sharing builds
• Content creation
• Education and Outreach, I think the Make magazine and books were a great enablers.
• By far, I would pair down to just operating a online news site and the maker faires. I'd look at how Cracked brought itself back from the dead as an example.
• Tools to train kids to put on makerfaires
• Support the demonstrating makers
• Outreach focussed events - big ones and community ones. • These events have *enormous* impact on human beings and can make money.
• alternative energy
• Education and levelling the playground socially. This stuff doesn't have to be stupid expensive.
• YouTube
• Events
• Continue the magazine at all costs. It is the source of inspiration for many of all ages.
• Free physical and virtual spaces for learning and creation for all.
• STEAM focused. Especially for school aged children
• micro circuts
• accessible workshops and online materials
• free as in beer
• Community. I don't know how to foster that and not make it all about the money. It's hard because people make cool things and they want to get paid but "community" and "ceaseless self promotion " do not go well together
• Picking some project, and building it as a group with looking at the different elements of engineering, social science and acceptance, and presenting it to a different audience.
• Electrical engineering
• Diversity, equity, and inclusion of varied experience, culture, ideas, and methods.
• Right to repair to build more awareness around making
• Daily online content, but I think going diverse is safer
• I think I would like to focus in providing opportunities for makers that want to teach to teach, for example, I would love to teach programming for free, but havent found the space to do so
• community
• Community. Hands-down. There are many ways to address "Community" but it's the one thing I would pick over other characteristics like "Profit", "Longevity" or "Infrastructure" with respect to an open source maker-oriented organization
• Keep it small, nimble. Cater to the creativity of children, and keep it family friendly.
• Being not for profit.
• Providing access to the tools, skills and mindsets behind making to diverse communities.
• Wow, is that possible? :). I guess Arduino since you can do so many things with it.
• Let neither startup hype/pitch competition people nor social justice/identity politics people grab control over the space.
• Education and accessible technology for all
• Education
• Maker faire
• Community-organized events like Maker Faire I think are the one thing that allowed Maker Media to stand out
• critical approaches to design
• It is hard to pick one answer. I think there are several compelling opportunities for maker organizations focused on specific domains. One would be presenting maker skills in the context of a path to the trades. Another focus would be modernizing (and miniaturizing) common manufacturing processes outside the usual footprint of CNC technologies. I also believe there are a lot of opportunities for makers in agriculture and primary productivity - this is my own personal focus right now.
• Decentralization
• Whimsy. Maker businesses are fine, but there's nothing like the exhibits that elicit pure joy, which are made just because they can be made.
• Access to affordable maker spaces.
• Electronics DIY
• Regional events! Maker Faire Detroit has been so important for connecting makers in the midwest to each other and the rest of the country.
• Community building
• Events -- getting Makers together to talk, teach/share skills, show off their stuff.
• Creaste short videos that detect an issue in a community that could be somehow solved making some artifact, explain the creation process and show the impact it made.
• Physical computing
• Creating user controlled and built technological devices.
• Sustainability!! Many people are already afraid of the future, without knowing what they can do to improve matters. Be a beacon of hope. But also, as things move forward, there will be a lot of demand for this type of solutions. Renewable energy, repurposing/upcycling, interesting ways to produce food, and more.
• social capacity building

Lastly, here are responses to the question "Any other thoughts or ideas?" (I've edited out some people's private contact information here, other than that these are the raw responses). Which ones resonate with you?

54 responses
• the main ideas should realy come from the third world....they are way much more advance
• happy to get involved in helping build this - just let me know :) @c------- / k--.b---------@gmail.com
• b-- here. I think the zine, + on demand + downloadable format would be great. Riso !!!
• Thanks Garnet!
• Maybe a how to magazine of critical and speculative design projects?
• well... another metaphor for cats is academia, or herding cats. other
• For the organisation to be a meeting space for other locally focused groups not necessarily attached to making to encourage cross fertilisation of ideas.
• "Makers" are people, and community is people -- and we should eschew the platforming tendencies by single individuals, be it TechShop, Fab Lab, Maker Media, P2P, ecology ...
• And as I said earlier, together with m------:
"Shared Machine Shops are not new.
Fab Labs are not about technology.
Sharing is not happening.
Hackerspaces are not open.
Technology is not neutral.
Hackerspaces are not solving problems.
Fab Labs are not the seeds of a revolution."
P---- T------, p.-------@--.nl
• Great thoughts and ideas on Nettime. Keep up the good work! Hope to see you again IRL some time. J----
• No DARPA grants
• Open source is a strange thing to focus on. There are many maker companies that eschew open source, and many that require retention of copyright, etc. I wonder why you chose this phrasing.
• Be political neutral, don't force political opinions on people like the left wing Make magazine did.
• I am not sure I am right. This is just my gut reaction.
• Being a “maker” is a way of living based that we can hack everything for better :) we can be better, we have to.
• The maker movement is more alive and latent than ever.
• A post Maker Media organization should imho be membership-based, with membership revenue being the basis of what is possible financially. It would be a kind of global trade organization for makers of all kinds.
• HACK OTHER EVENTS: Attend events that attract makers who don't identify as makers: comicon (almost everyone is a maker there), wood and metalworking trade shows, custom car and bike shows, etc. We grow our community by joining other communities and infecting them with our enthusiasm for blending the disciplines into one big community of makers.
• I think building an alliance or consortium that brings together various organizations and individual is much better idea. The group could consist of organizations who's business is cater to maker community (open hardware companies, open source companies).
• I think the problem you're always going to run into is an issue of that the maker community has always struggled a bit with the idea of business as a part of the movement. At its core, the movement is a hobby to most people, so the vast majority of maker organizations have to or prefer to rely on outside sources of support because if you try to fund a makerspace internally and make business an integral part of it, it just becomes another factory workshop. I don't think it works if the organization funding it is the same one as the organization trying to coordinate the non-profit programs.
• Kinda like a national science faire but more maker oriented.
• S----- H--- is severely underrated and print is dead.
• MF, by it's very nature sort of made it hard for individuals to show stuff because it was just too exhausting. I would like to see a better way to do show and tell among individuals.
• this really sucks!!!!
• We don't need so much focus on Bay Area-type artists. We need to teach people, and especially kids, how to get started for themselves, and then help them develop skills.
• Support the independent makers. They are the "talent".
• For years heard many smaller maker companies lamenting that it was too expensive to participate in a maker Faire. It was a of once a maker made the leap from maker to a maker business Make Media wanted large sums of money to have a booth/representation at an event. This amount was unproportionally large compared to the revenue the business generated. And it all makes sense why the prices were so high when there were venture capitalists that needed to see returns. Treat it the new "Make" as a company of one, then it'll succeed long term. https://ofone.co/ (no, not affiliated with the book in any way)
• Makers are strongly connected to the UN SDG's - find ways to mutual development.
• Co-create strong independent networks, portals, platforms to survive autonomy in times of crises: Signal, Protonmail, etc
• Developing of the next generation of Makers should be something that should span more than just print and digital media. Deeper integration into schools, K12 and Collegiate, to help develop the skills needed to live and work in an Internet connected, coded world.
• do not try to be too big
• I've taken the time to carve out more space in my life to make things now that Make is gone. It felt like they had a handle on the whole making things deal. And that level of fit and finish isn't really my style. I feel like I have more space to just be me and do what I want. I know this is all in my head. I really want the books to continue under a similar imprint. It'd be a shame if they were all discontinued or sold to some soulless corporation.
• More drones!
• Women are makers, and “women’s crafts” are forms of making. People living in poverty are makers, and survival invention in developing nations is a form of making. Learn from Bauhaus’s eff-ups a century ago. Learn from innovation in literal ghettos and tenements.
• "making" is too broad to go mainstream. Folks that grok makerfaire dig it hard, yet folks that don't have no clue what the hell it is. We have a big awareness problem still. Rally around right to repair and teaching folks how to fix stuff so they start taking more stuff apart and questioning how it works.
• If I had the means to start I'd do it myself
• I am sorry to waste your time
• usually monetery and community focussed efforts conflict. it would be great if this was not the case
• Occasional events are better for outreach whereas regular meetups are better for cultivating a specialism
• Consider expanding the Maker Media empire, or whatever is left of it, to the Eastern Hemisphere/East -- India and China are the future, and if Make: had some of its outposts in these economies, radical change could be seen with respect to the global maker movement
• Nothing good lasts forever. Design the business accordingly.
• I attended probably 75% of the NYC MFs, including 2010. I believe the year things changed for the worse was when Barnes&Noble got involved, makers started complaining about the cost to exhibit, and weird unrelated large sponsors showed up (some kind of new soda). The reprap festivals might be a better way to go?
• I think it makes sense at this point to look at how we can form a network of small groups in many places working together towards a common mission with the support of a board providing guidance.
• How, and with whom, can I accomplish this in Reutlingen, Willi Betz Gelände?
• I know people are super sad about MAKE. Me too. It's very nostalgic considering all the friends and community we have made all around the world. But I feel, this is just the passing of an industry from the early stage to a mature stage. This is very similar to all the open source hardware grassroots clubs we had such as the famous Homebrew Club, but today people hardly build computers by hand anymore. We have "matured" into another level of technology.
• It's a cycle. What starts young, will one day become matured and even die off to give birth to something else totally new, while the remnants of the old will get embedded as part of bigger and more financially stable organisations.
• connect up all loal hackerspaces in a city and have them run an event in a conglomeration.
• One thing I feel is lacking in the usual maker pedagogy is fundamental business literacy. People can develop amazing skills through self-study, but business law is arcane by design. • I think most makers stand to benefit greatly from some content demystifying business licensing, home accounting and independent consultancy work. There are already many organizations promoting independent business, but there seems to be little overlap between these and the maker community.
• The maker faire is a decentralized thing. Most of regional and mini maker faires are on. Perhaps instead of maker Media licenses we could just use a respected and recognized chapter, a document stating what is a maker faire and what is not. If the maker faire trademark will not be available for us, 
then we will have to think up and to agree on a new name.
• We can do better than Maker Faire.
• If there is a open source franchise model then each location could have a contributed fee that would assist with purchasing of new equipment, insurance, repairs, staffing etc. • It is a lower-cost way of sharing resources instead of having to rely solely on local volunteers or individual sites.
• Half focus on newcomers and other half in veterans. A lot of us started with Arduino, and some made custom PCB, wich is kinda normal.
• Not for profit please :D
• Get youtubers involved, like Simone Giertz, Laura Kampf, Mark Rober,
• Be an actual maker movement, about DIY and tech learning and FUN!, and not a profit-focused startup company. Be genuinely excited about making, not fake excited about selling us marked up crap. Get into the deep dive details. 
• Be more like the 8/16 bit computer user group days, the Radio and Electronics days, the glee of building and fixing and modding shit. Be photocopied zine days and not glossy magazine days. More crazy tinkerers, less TED talk. Don't be a fucking TED talk. Never be that again.
• Scrappy and inclusive, not hipster and exclusive. Geezers and kids and adults and teens all treated with respect. 
• For god's sake, the project is the star! Fuck "influencers". Nobody is a fucking star of makerdom. 
• Engineering is modest, good hacks get kudos. No hate for n00bs. Everybody can come. You can do the thing!
• Make did an amazing job of combining different disciplines into one community. I'd love to see that again.
• stress anti-capitalist and regenerative capitalist models

If you'd like to input ideas, here's the form - https://forms.gle/SB7FxpJVAyhVwnLp7 - and in reference to Nettime, I'm particularly interested in hearing people (by email) that might be interested in hosting some sort of events that have to do with DIY/art/tech/culture, sort of in the spirit of a revived Dorkbot - please give me a shout.



On Fri, Jun 21, 2019 at 5:57 PM Molly Hankwitz <mollyhankwitz@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello Iain, et al, 

If I have contributed with my post regarding the passing of Maker - as no big deal - this creating maker-doubt by underscoring the lack of environmental consciousness in a kabillion plastic parts (heating seals and whales applaud) my comments were not intended to squelch the beneficial maker-flow when it comes to tinkering, or imaginative play. Indeed, so important to almost all practices! However, I would not blame the screen...attachment to which may be causing a slow-down in nettime’s success as smartphone users run to real and material life for refuge. Let the maker-urge flow...let the commercialization of maker, fall. Maker’s best attribute imho is its, forgive me, horizontality as a movement touching everyone from seniors and hospital wards to high end computer labs and and universities. 
The maker-ethos is fantastic, even if one never gets anywhere but treads maker-water for ages. 

It was/is some post-industrial attempt to reunite hand/eye/heart/brain with material—arguably problematically conceived, even anti-digital thinking tied up with that. Can we not balance resistance to the virtual life through engagement with digital life as opposed to rejecting or pushing it away? So, if making did celebrate a kind of naive, non-expertise, then has it produced a generation or two of dummies with eyes wide open to new ideas? Maybe not. Maybe rather refocused elements of creativity, which along with “sharing” can be critiqued as belonging to and defined by varied economies from the anarchical to the communist to the neo-liberal. 

Molly lurker Hankwitz

On Wed, Jun 19, 2019 at 11:08 AM Iain Boal <boal@sonic.net> wrote:
Parhaps the historical vogue for ‘making’ was a wishful reaction of passive bodies - TV’s couch potatoes - bound even tighter to the screen by the novel technics of interactivity, viz. enhanced passivity. I recently heard that 10 year olds in California are averaging 7 hours a day stroking glass. Can this be true?


On 18 Jun 2019, at 14:20, Richard Sewell <richard@jarkman.co.uk> wrote:

Sam - it's a self-description that works well for people who find themselves doing several of those things, and don't want to be pigeonholed into doing just one.

Garnet makes the same mistake, I think:
" Language typically expands into a rich lexicon of terms when a field grows, and the generality of ‘making’ is the polar opposite. Ceramicists, welders, sculptors, luthiers, amateur radio builders, furniture makers and inventors have been conflated into the singular category of makers, and the acceptance of this shift seems to indicate that any form of making is novel enough in popular culture that it is not worth discerning what is being built."

If you're making some ceramics and some robots and some lutes, it just doesn't work to call yourself a luthier.  You could think of the term as an acceptance that some people will be making all sorts of things, not going along with the traditional commercial specialisation of making skills.

Yes, it might mean that you get paid less, but then it's not really a description of a job, it's a description of an activity that's often happily not commercial.

One of the things about Make that made me sad was that it tended to presume that everybody aspired (or should aspire) to turn their making into some kind of business, and that was often missing the real point of the making. It assumed that if you liked to cook a nice dinner you'd be even happier running a restaurant.


On 18/06/2019 21:11, Sam Dwyer wrote:
> It was always fated to be a high poser and huckster zone, because if you were really good at making stuff, wouldn't you consider yourself an engineer or a designer or an artist first?

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Dr. Garnet Hertz
Canada Research Chair in Design and Media Arts
Emily Carr University of Art and Design
520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada  V5T 0H2

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Felipe Schmidt Fonseca
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