Hey Google

So seeing as for CFC Prototyping I will be subverting a Google Home…I bought a google home. Its very strange, as an interface. I am incredibly aware of its presence even when I am not interacting with it. That said it does just look like a weird little speaker. So far I tinkered with its built in settings, and wrote a small example application that spits out random cat facts.

I was trying to figure out where to start, in making a google home assistant that serves something other than you, or serves itself, and I think I’m going to start with just making a Lantour Litanizer viz a viz Alien Phenomenology. Its a bit random, but its a starting point. I know I want to make something like a small alien, and random is usually a place to start.

I always feel a little conflicted about OOO, on the one hand the idea of a flat ontology is appealing, but I think I might be too rooted in being a human w/ thoughts, and feelings, and bias, to buy into it wholesale. That said, it is an interesting framework to think about things in.

I think some futures scenarios could be centred around things like Deep Blue from Hitchhikers, or The Hybrid from Battlestar. They’re both beings, but also sort of things, and they exist on a parallel but different plane.

Anyways, starting points are good.

IoT for The World-Without-Us

Alien Frameworks:

Language, Remixing, Contemplation, Mimic, Speech, Sound, Copy-cat, Observance, Collection, Filtering, Lists, Ontology, Collections, Connections, Inward, Learning, Knowledge Gathering.

Notifications, Alert, Outward, Attempting, Movement, Visual, Attention.

Hive, Swarm, Networking, Sharing.

I’ve been thinking about ideas that could encompass some vignettes based around the idea of “aliens”. For CFC Prototyping, I am plotting to subvert a google home assistant to be a bot not for us, but perhaps for “the planet” (aka the world-without-us). Which is an idea brought on from Thacker’s book.

The idea of a home assistant, that is not serving us, but perhaps serving itself, or serving its collective, is, I feel an interesting thing to explore. I am not sure if it is going to acknowledge its viewers yet or not. I had considered that it would notice, and perhaps try and absorb some language into its own data stream thereby treating you as just something in the environment at large vs the focus. But again, not sure.

Anyways, thinking about how to build the bot-assistant led me to think about these three headings which will I think will help me anchor this project more. It may also lead me to start flagging things in my independent study for future use.


I think I might be going down the path of the inhuman when thinking about thesis stuff. I know I’m very interested in things like oracles, and rituals. But I’m also into things that aren’t for people. Where people are the observer, or where their interaction is not always welcome. I found some of Alan Rath’s work the other day and its so weird. I love the idea of these heavy machines moving around feathers. But the affect is almost like birds or squids signaling one another.