Appropriating Interaction Technologies (“Social Hacking”) at ITP

AIT (“Social Hacking”), taught for the first time this semester by Lauren McCarthy and Kyle McDonald at NYU’s ITP, explored the structures and systems of social interactions, identity, and self representation as mediated by technology. The semester was spent developing projects that altered or disrupted social space in an attempt to reveal existing patterns or truths about our experiences and technologies, and possibilities for richer interactions.

The class began by exploring the idea of “social glitch”, drawing on ideas from glitch theory, social psychology, and sociology, including Harold Garfinkel’s breaching experiments, Stanley Milgram’s subway experiments, and Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical analysis of social interaction. If “glitch” describes when a system breaks down and reveals something about its structure or self in the process, what might this look like in the context of social space?

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