Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Institute of Applied Autonomy - Oleksiuk

The Institute of Applied Autonomy (IAA) treatise "Engaging Ambivalence: Interventions in Engineering Culture" investigates the challenge of the type of moral relativism that links Defense research projects (specifically DARPA in the U.S., with academia, specifically research universities. It pits the ambivalence of researchers who tune out criticisms of their implicit collaboration with militaristic culture using the longstanding tradition of "Big Science" (see Laurie Anderson album of the same name - http://www.laurieanderson.com/microsites/Big-Science/index.html) research to further their own agendas as well as getting funded by a military with deep pockets.

IAA tests the soft underbelly of ambivalence by deconstructing the institutional mechanisms in which moral apathy festers. It further situates itself within that framework in order to infiltrate rather than directly create confrontation. (The Yes Men by contrast, do infiltrate, but the exposure generated by revealing the hoax is powerful, the infiltration is short-lived. IAA works on more of a checks and balances paradigm, engaging for the long-term the community they wish to "fix".

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