The Joyful Passion of Production: Spinoza and Disruptive Technologies

By Simon Downs.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Spinoza conceived the concept of ‘Passions’ to talk about how an idea affects us: he talks of Sad Passions that reduce our abilities to act and of Joyful Passions that free us to act more fully. While Spinoza is explicitly talking of the gestalt of ideas acting on people his concept of Passions speaks to a problem we are all sadly too familiar with: overwhelming numbers of new broadcast and production technologies – vertical channels, virals, feeds, POD, Interactive TV, etc. – all vying for time, money and attention that none of us possess. In this paper I will be looking at a set of thought tools that may be used to examine production and broadcast technologies and be used to select those tools, in any particular circumstance, to decide which technologies which will add to the power and effectiveness of our communications and which, buy their very nature, will actively speak against us.

Keywords: Communications, Theory, Graphic Design, Visual Communication

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.11-18. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 549.874KB).

Simon Downs

Lecturer, School of Art and Design, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK

Simon Downs trained as a painter / illustrator and has worked across a range of design disciplines from the late 80’s to the present day. He first encountered ‘Interaction’ in 1993 while working as a multimedia designer in London. The combination of interaction and aesthetics has been fascinating and frustrating him since. Working as a web designer has convinced him that there must be a better way of communicating the visual digitally. He has taught at DeMontfort and Loughborough Universities, before becoming a full-time researcher and lecturer at Loughborough in 2003. Simon splits his time between writing on the disruptive effects of technology on the society, practices and teaching of Visual Communication, and working in the field of Drawing Research as one of the editors of ‘Tracey’ the journal of contemporary drawing. He is currently a member of both of Loughborough University’s Drawing Research Group and Animation Academy.

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