Humane technologies

Tech is often strangely decoupled from human affairs. How does the rapid technological development affect us and should we reflect on possible futures? How can we cultivate a tech-amplified human culture that not just serves the whole human kind but other life forms as well?  There are many questions, but few simple answers. Let’s ponder some more mind-boggling questions together:

Yes, if algorithms are making trust conditional. Just like other human phenomena (love, creativity etc), trust cannot be forced.

We humans need feedback loops which exposes us for the consequences of our actions. This is often experienced as “friction” and is not always pleasant, but most likely necessary for developing our social skills and respect for others. Today, we can easily escape the consequences of our social behaviours with the help our digital devices. Something is happening to our relationships. What if we actually need to regularly exercise our social abilities, in real, sometimes difficult interactions, otherwise digitally encouraged corrosive habits like trolling and ghosting become the IRL norm? 

Other voices from outside the current knowledge creation system are lacking. For instance indigenous ways of knowing and relating based on ancient wisdom.

Apart from curiosity and awareness, we believe it’s necessary to take charge of the technological development and not letting it dehumanise us but making the best of it. “Cultural tech” seems to be the missing link, the connective tissue between polarising modes of thinking and operating. If optimisation is the logic of technology, then the logic of cultural tech is care. One without the other is half as good and incomplete. 

Since 2015 Curiosity Shop and the visionary artist couple Lundahl & Seitl have been collaborating to approach this topic from multiple perspectives – social, technological and artistic. 


Garden of Ghost Flowers

During the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022, Erika is participating in a series of lectures, discussions, and workshops hosted by Magasin III Museum for Contemporary Art, focusing on the creation by Lundahl & Seitl and Untold Garden of a new mixed reality artwork. It could be described as an organic VR experience, nurtured by real human interactions and resonance. The initial version of Garden of Ghost Flowers will be presented in April 2022 at STRP Eindhoven, a festival of art and technology, as part of the ACT Award (Award for Creative Technology).

Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger

Unknown Cloud

Can technology + and art connect people for real and build communities across borders? The summer of 2017 a dream came true. A temporal window between Berlin and a remote corner of the world – Diphu in Assam (the site of Erika’s fieldwork) was opened as a part of Berliner Festspiele‘s Immersion programme series – Limits of Knowing. What made this project possible was Lundahl & Seitl’s ground breaking artistic research project Unknown Cloud. Erika has been following this interactive work of art, and is together with the artists exploring ways to nurture trust and empathy.

“If nationalism can arouse deep attachment, can a hyperreal nomadic imagined community do so too? With modern day tech-alchemy it is possible to induce a feeling of being part of something greater and to charge human encounters with high emotional arousal in order to overcome differences in a dreamlike but yet ‘real’ state.”


Waiting for the Unknown Cloud, Kyiv, Metamodern Arts Festival 2019
Unknown Cloud in San Francisco 2017 at the annual SOCAP event (Social initiatives meet Capital & Market). Interview for Nordic Impact Week.

Technology & the Child

Ursinnen at Färgfabriken was an exhibition focusing on a child’s capacity to perceive art and to engage with the world around them. The underlying idea was that there may be aspects of experiencing art and the world as a whole, where children possess a capacity beyond and different from adults. That is, in their ability to be present in phenomenological experiences, not only of art, but the world at large. An open panel conversation titled Technology & the Child connected to Lundahl & Seitl’s art, while prompting a wider discussion into transdisciplinary research and practice, where imaginative approaches trigger the design of new technologies focusing on the human qualities of touch and nearness, embodied presence and trust. Curiosity Shop’s Erika Tanos was invited as an ethnographer to explore the topic of Technology & The child together with artists Christer Lundahl & Martina Seitl, Helena Granström (writer & poet) and Ronald Jones (interdisciplinary professor & artist).

Producer: Anette Andersson (Artikel 31)
Moderator: Mats Bigert (Bigert & Bergström)

Färgfabriken has been producing a rich variety of exhibitions and diverse activities in the fields of art, architecture and urban development. They make room for the unexpected by bringing together different perspectives and interests from the areas of art, architecture and social science.