Manifiesto por una bauhaus digital (1999)
In the history of modern society several grand projects have been launched in an attempt to unite the two sides of the Enlightenment project: the hard (technology and natural sciences) with the soft (values, democracy, art and ethics). One remarkable such project was the Bauhaus. It was a great modern success story, but also a failure. Today, in the digital age we can witness new more post-modern attempts to meeting between 'art' and 'technology'. This emerging 'third culture' of nerds and digerati is promising, but still most immature.
A manifesto from the first Bauhaus school written for the opening of the first Bauhaus exhibition in Weimar 1923 envisioned how
a idealism of activity that embraces, penetrates and unites art, science and technology and that influences research, study, and work, will construct the art-edifice of Man.
Today we can do no more than to ponder the total plan, lay the foundations, and prepare the building stones. But We exist! We have the will! We are producing!
In this we can only concur, despite our knowledge of the contradictions inherent in the Bauhaus, despite the historical tendencies away from a socially responsible movement towards technology hostile to man, despite a century of obstacles and failures in the attempts to establish the third culture that already the early Bauhaus tried to create.
In spite of all this, but certainly not without ironic distance and post-modern lost innocence, we see no more constructive and practical way to unite the 'hard' scientific and technological sides of the Enlightenment project with the 'soft' ethical and aesthetic sides, than the grand vision from the Bauhaus manifesto put in the hands of a young generation of nerds and digerati. Hence, this is also our vision of an arena, a meeting place, a school, and a research centre for creative and socially useful meetings between 'art' and 'technology'.
Pelle Ehn: Manifesto for a Digital Bauhaus, Digital Creativity.
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