Issue Number Zero: Prototyping Prototyping

Before there was LIMN, there were several different prototypes. The first was occasioned by a conference: on prototypes. Held in Madrid in November of 2010, and organized by Adolpho Estalella and Alberto Corsín Jimenez, it was a conference for which this issue was imagined as a kind of pre-conference publication–another riff on the prototype. Many of the problems LIMN seeks to address were worked out in part through this conference and the publication: from the use of new media, to the function of conferences and conference papers, to the idea of a publication that precedes or determines a social event. Issue Number Zero was very much a prototype, and bears the traces of that concept and the discussion of it by the generous participants.

Contributors: George Marcus, Marilyn Strathern, James Leach, Alberto Corsin Jimenez and Adolfo Estalella, Alex Wilkie, Nerea Calvillo, Javier Lezaun, Lucy Suchman, Lina Dib, Michael Guggenheim, Alain Pottage

001: Prototyping Prototyping

Directed by Christopher M. Kelty What is a prototype and why is it a salient contemporary figure? This collection of writings was provoked by a conference, held in Madrid in November 2010. The goal was to “prototype” a conference publication

Prototyping Prototyping: A Preface

by: Christopher M. Kelty Prototyping Prototyping, began as a conference publication that was finished before the conference. Its goal was to be a “prototype” of a conference on prototyping cultures.  Participants were invited 2 weeks ahead of time to submit

A prototype para-site event: death penalty mitigation

[This exhibit relates to the “Parasites” project discussed by George Marcus. –ed.] The first Para-site event at the Center for Ethnography at UC Irvine occurred on November 5,2006. Jesse Cheng,

The Para-site in Ethnographic Research Projects

A Project of the Center for Ethnography, University of California, Irvine While the design and conduct of ethnographic research in anthropology is still largely individualistic, especially in the way that research is presented in the academy, many projects depend

Para-sites: a Proto-Prototyping Culture of Method?

[this text discusses the “Para-Sites” project of the Center for Ethnography and it’s first event, on death penalty mitigation (see exhibit Y) — ed.] Classic anthropological ethnography, especially in its development in the apprentice

Cross-Cultural Partnership: TEMPLATE and HOWTO

[From The Cross Cultural Partnership website. Discussed by James Leach in his presentation.–ed] DRAFT version 0.3, September 2007 Preamble The cross-cultural partnership template is designed to help potential collaborators to reach understanding and agreement on the terms of their collaboration.

Prototyping relationships: on techno-political hospitality

When drafting the original call for papers that led to the ‘Prototyping cultures’ conference, we noted that the figure of the ‘prototype’ had recently emerged as a currency

Prototypes in Design: Materializing Futures

The two excerpts that follow are drawn from my Ph.D. research User Assemblages in Design: An Ethnographic Study. The thesis is an examination of the role of multiple users in user-centered design (UCD) processes and is based

Infra(proto)types In the Air

Presentation as a prototype itself: opens questions through the material of In the Air, a project which makes visible the components of the air. A degree of skill and experience is necessary to effectively use prototyping

Protoyping Democracies

Experimental Studies in the Social Climates of Groups A film by Kurt Lewin. Discussed in Javier Lezaun’s “Demo for Democracy”

Demo for Democracy

Suppose you wanted to test the reality of democracy. Tired of claims and counter-claims, of endless debates about ideals and aspirations, and deeply unconvinced by the arguments of political philosophers, you would like to produce some

Prototyping Prototyping :: Second Iteration

Our conference prototype – the document created by Chris – had the prototypical characteristic of just-in-time production, which meant that I’ve only been able to engage with it properly after the fact. Doing so was a

The End of Innovation (As We Knew It)

‘The future arrives sooner here.’ I’m driving my car down Hillview Avenue in Palo Alto, California one evening around 1995 and I hear this assertion on U.S. National Public Radio, spoken by a Silicon Valley

Of Promises and Prototypes: the archaeology of the future

“It’s just we wanted, we needed something for the deployment which would kind of work in a general way. […] So there were problems with it, it’s not a kind of definitive answer, but it

The Charismatic Prototype

Prototyping is a charismatic figure: no sooner does one have it in mind than one begins to see it at work everywhere. This is testimony to the astuteness of the organizers’ vision, and the reflexive

If I were the ethnographer…

To what might an anthropologist wish to attach the term prototype? Prompted by Christopher Kelty’s reference to a conference publication preceding the conference, I recall a slim volume I brought out before a short seminar series held

The prototype: a sociology in abeyance

Could we speak of a saint as a prototype for a religious movement or of a clue as a prototype for a crime? Writing in the early 20th century, philosopher Max Scheler thought

The Long History of Prototypes

The conference organisers Alberto Corsín Jiménez and Adolfo Estalella state at the beginning of their invitation: “prototypes have acquired certain prominence and visibility in recent times”. What I want to focus on is what the words

Prototyping Prototyping: a pre-conference publication

A publication organized prior to the conference and constructed in time (though only barely) to circulate there. For some, this experiment provided a way to reflect on the relationship of presentation and writing, and the ways that conferences structure and