Vikings, violence, and vernacular English “to hack”, verb has meant roughly the same thing for thousands of years: to cut up roughly, as with an axe or hatchet. Take a look at this snippet from Anglo-Saxon-language Legends of St. Andrew and St. Veronica—apocryphal tales of the
apostles/saints which became popular in Anglo-Saxon England in the 10th century A.D.
Translation into Modern English:
[…]and some were pierced through with a spear, and some were sold into slavery, and some they were hacked into four parts[…]
In the snippet above, we see the ancestor of the verb “to hack” (highlighted) in a passage where the Roman army, under orders
from Titus and Vespasian Christian/Jewish citizens of Judea tortured, killed and also sold into slavery. Astoundingly enough, linguistic research shows that the to hack verb comes from the same place as the word hook— unsurprising when you consider what many Iron Age axes looked like. To be clear, to hack verb harkens back to hook/hack, noun not the other way around.
Verbs (and adjectives) also are ambiguous
Hacking with a hatchet conjures images of violence and brutality. Yet, to hack verb, the “active form”
also displays the ambiguity of meaning shown by hacker noun, the state form. We have already alluded to a possible reason for this verbal ambiguity: destruction, or in this case hacking can be used for good or bad.
Hacking in the Modern Day
Today we have a number of tech words that all come from the same root, but tend to be interpreted rather differently depending on context and speaker’s point-of-view.
Hack (coder), n./adj. — bad
Hacker, n. –good or bad
To hack (code), v. — ambiguously good or bad
Hacked (code), adj. — ambiguously good or bad
Hacky (code), adj. — usually bad
Clearly, “hack” is the word of the moment; its technological connotations have proliferated in both scope and presence.
As used above, and in the halls of Facebook, it derives from a verb that first appeared in English around 1200, meaning to
“cut with heavy blows in an irregular or random fashion,” as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it. (Another strain of the word, referring to a person— especially a writer—who does undistinguished work, comes from “hackney,” as in a horse or car for hire.)
Hacking and Designing : Paradoxes of collaborative practice by Anja Groten.
The concept of hacking is not discipline-specific; it is not exclusive to the field of computer programming.Hacking might be a way of making.
But it could be also a way of breaking. A hacker – just like a designer I imagine – finds pleasure in creating. But hacking is more of an attitude than a practice. Designers should disseminate their work in ways that force still-vulnerable processes to be exposed and possibly contested. If we stop clutching so tightly to the paradigm of making 'convincing work', and instead embrace the limits of our practices,
designers could create our own ecology of frictions.
This Interview/conversation is well explained by its first sentence: The concept of hacking is not discipline-specific; it is not exclusive to the field of computer programming. Hacking might be a way of making. This two fictional perspective which is designers and hackers questions shows the author's appropriation of hacking.
Mark Henning combines performance, objects and communication to design and unpack social and spatial interactions.
His research practice explores measurements, norms and standards about our absurd normal.
His project Normal is a performative design research that explores how the handshake - a simple social gesture -
has become coded with immense nationalistic meaning and examines how our definition of normal influences our suspicions of others.
Normaal Space is a commissioned work for the exhibition:
The Object is Absent, presented during Dutch Design Week 2019 at MU Art Space.
The exhibition was a radical experiment in exploring a design exhibition without objects creating a contrast to the over-materialised Design Week. The installation formed part of a design research into our deﬁned interpersonal spaces. What happens when we begin to change these deﬁned spaces? How do people engage with ‘normal’ interactions of handshaking, kissing or gesturing when these deﬁned spaces change?
The anthropologist Edward T. Hall’s research into interpersonal space or Proxemics forms the starting point for the performance.
Proxemics is the study of human use of space and deals with the amount of space that people feel is necessary to set between themselves
and deﬁne categories of interpersonal distances into four distinct zones namely:
and public space.
The installation Normaal Distance forms part of the travelling exhibition:
Designs For Different Futures currently exhibited at the Walker Art Museum, Minnesota, USA.
A design platform:stage: testing station for a handshake, the table is an over-complicated set of rules in which he tries to interact with the audience. This table's indigestible and uneasy design makes the audience uncomfortable because they do not quite know how to interact with.
It was designed with the idea of standard dutch men: 1.83m. This table is exciting because it is almost impossible to be "Normal" in this space. He also found a rhythm; this performance also uses a metronome to exaggerate this rhythm. Henning used a gesture in his work because gestures are designed socially, and they have organic development.
Institutionalized normality: specifically looking at migrants and immigration. He started to question these social norms, and his starting point was Mark Rutte's comments about 'behaving normally or leave' referring to migrants in the Netherlands. And later, he spoke about the idea that the handshake is what we do in the Netherlands. It shows these nationalistic connotations.
Normal is conforming. It is about how our society forces us to behave in a normal way.
Abnormal behaviour is seen as something undesirable, and therefore it starts to form a control.
His intervention was putting fake nails on the fingertips, covering the hand with hair, and trying to see if the hand perceived it as normal.
Would people see this as a normal handshake????????handshake with bus driver; 50% were happy to handshake
How do we relate today when countless new technologies seem to structure every interaction?
And what role does architecture play? What is the architecture of ubiquitous connectivity?
Private and public have become completely blurred. We can no longer think of distinct spaces for work, play, domesticity, and rest. We are living in a 24/7 culture. Networked electronic technologies have removed any limit to what can be done in bed.
Millions of dispersed beds are taking over from concentrated office buildings. The boudoir is defeating the tower.
This text explores the role of the bed as the epicenter of labor, postlabor, and love in the age of social media.
When John Lennon and Yoko Ono married secretly in Gibraltar on March 20,1969, the ceremony lasted only three minutes.
But these minutes, so elaboratel protected, were in fact the end of privacy.
“We knew our honeymoon was going to be public, anyway,
so we decided to use it to make a statement. We sat in bed and talked to reporters for seven days. It was hilarious.
In effect, we were doing a commercial for peace on the front page of the papers instead of a commercial for war.”1 John and Yoko even speak about all of this in the compact language of commercial slogans, the language of media:
1.Interviewed by David Sheff, “Playboy Interview: John Lennon and Yoko Ono,”in Playboy, January 1981, p. 101.
Yoko Ono: “In the age of advertisement, make advertisement.”2
John Lennon: “There is no line between private and public. No line.”3
2 Yoko Ono quoted in Davidson, Sara, “Lennon and Yoko: An Alerted Press,”Boston Globe, June 22, 1969, p. A34.
3 Interview by David Sheff, in Golson, G. (ed.), The Playboy Interviews with John Lennonand Yoko Ono, New York 1981, p. 92.
while the first addresses the use of the bed as an office and workspace, and questions how we can define and reexamine the bed as an architectural space.
The „house“ occupies a 4 sq.m space, it is bordered by a white tape. It consists of a table and a chair and has no walls.
Passers-by are invited by the artist to use the space as long as they wish (for free) and sign a fictional "private property-ownership contract" for using the house.
The symbolical contract is offered to them for (re-)appropriating an already occupied space.
Feels like home!
oscillates between private and public rules.The temporary intervention took place in nine different sites/public squares in Berlin and Istanbul.It seeks to challenge the perception of public sphere(s) dealing with the pursuit of privatization of public spaces on the one hand and of space occupation on the other.
Feels like home!
focuses on the conception of public space in the late capitalistic urban development. The definition of "public space" within this context is fragile and ambiguous. Taking into account the contemporary urbanization of Berlin, where a significant urban transformation took place since the Wall fall, we need to talk of a space,
which is arranged between policed public zones on the one hand, and secured, privatized non-public areas on the other.
Privatization of public spaces is an integral feature of Berlin’s urban regeneration (see Public Private Partnerships and Event City).