My art-making always has been a subconscious divination ritual that I’ve invoked in parallel with the rational techno-social forecasting I have done for fifty years. Institute for the Future was the perfect place to juxtapose my heretofore private art with my public future forecasting. It turns out that when you look at these twin strands of my work over my career, a strong theme emerges: mind amplifiers and consciousness exploration. The artist’s statement I wrote for the IFTF show turned into a full artobiography on Medium. An illustrated, truncated version was created by IFTF as a catalog for the show. On opening night in February, 2017, my daughter introduced me, I said a few words, then Stanford Communication Department Chair Fred Turner and I had a public conversation about my odd position as the public intellectual equivalent of an outsider artist. Fabrice Florin recorded a video of that An Evening with Howard Rheingold
Steve Hargadon is a great interviewer, and about 80 members of his active Classroom 2.0 community joined via text chat. The recording (use the player controls) includes audio, video, slides, and text chat. You will be asked to allow the download and launch of a Java applet, then use the player controls to play the recording.
The video from my Net Smart presentation to New Media Consortium just became available, as did the MIT Press Podcast.
Digital media and networked publics have emerged so quickly and broadly that our minds, relationships, and societies changed before anyone could get a handle on how they are changing. More recently, both empirical studies and works of criticism have begun to question the trade-offs involved in the transition to an always-on world. Criticism is necessary, but it isn’t sufficient — and it’s always better when it is based on more evidence than personal opinion. In addition to criticism, know-how is required. Net Smart is my attempt to furnish tools, methods, attitudes, and references for those who seek to engage technology mindfully. It’s the book I would recommend to an intelligent and open-minded but concerned and perhaps fearful parent, give to a smart high-school student, use as the textbook in a college course on social media literacies.