Floating & Fixed, co-presented by the Contemporary Arts Center and The Shop at the CAC, traces a history of platform design from motorcar to mobile phone, exploring Henry Ford as a platform designer and crucial precursor to contemporary platform ecosystems. Stephanie Sherman, a design researcher, curator, and strategist working across, art, architecture, technology, and media, will lead this discussion
The Fordian automotive epoch marked a critical turning point for platform logics. Ford combined coordinated planning and emergent response through mass assembly production and global logistics. At the same time, his vision mobilized redistributive economics, media, and culture. In the process of motorcar proliferation, Ford reorganized planetary spacetime. Is this why radical architect and systems designer Buckminster Fuller called Henry Ford an artist of the assembly line? What can Fordian futurisms show us about how to adapt platforms today? Through lesser known stories of Fordian automotive sagas, we’ll explore the social and technological potential of automated mobility platforms to come.
About Stephanie Sherman
Stephanie Sherman is a design researcher, curator, and strategist working across art, architecture, technology, and media. She is the co-founder of Elsewhere (a living museum from a former thrift store), Common Field (an international network of artist organizations), and Radioee.net (a nomadic multilingual online radio station). Stephanie currently works with the Center for Design and Geopolitics and the The Design Lab at UC San Diego. Her Phd project, AUTO: A Platform Parable, explores the functions of fiction in redesigning platform mobilties. Born in New Orleans and based in London, she travels incessantly in search of the deeply rational and hyper-ridiculous.