The Dark Side of Making - Reflecting on Promises, Practices and Problems of the Last 25 Years

Daniel Cermak, Laura Beloff, Julian Priest, Walter Langelaar, Steve Gray

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The discussion of our panel of the Dark Side of Making takes up specifically the perspectives of software- and biohacking, do-it-yourself (DIY) practices, education, and open networks. Members of the panel represent a range of perspectives from an interna-tional group of academics, artists, and makers, including the local South African maker scene. The recent years have seen a growing interest and increase of practices that embrace a DIY attitude and Maker Culture. But there are also controversies attached to these practices that question their legitimacy, sustainability, and inten-tions: How is it better to build your own electronic device instead of buying a mass-produced one? Does it really make sense to self-build the automated watering, light and temperature control system for your house plants? And why do we all repeat the same experiments in a DIY biolab, e.g. the creation of transgenic fluo-rescent e-coli bacteria, which will be killed after we have seen it glow under a fluorescent lamp? These and other questions refer-ence a possibility that there exists a dark side to these practices; but what and where is it?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 24th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA)
Number of pages4
Place of PublicationDurban South Africa
PublisherDurban University of technology (DUT)
Publication date22 Jun 2018
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-620-80332-8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2018
EventThe 24th International Symposium on Electronic Art - Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Duration: 22 Jun 20181 Jul 2018


ConferenceThe 24th International Symposium on Electronic Art
LocationDurban University of Technology
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
Internet address


  • Biohacking
  • creative practices
  • critical perspectives
  • digital media
  • DIY
  • Making
  • education
  • hacking
  • open culture
  • open net-works


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