Besides technologies of time and location needed for the structure of everyday religion, programmable machines functioned as prototypes for computing by way not only of Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī’s “algorithm” but also the The Banū Mūsā brothers’ programmable musical machine.Such examples beg us to alter our historical focus to a different age and a different region.
A world of musical automata that work instead of humans; design prototypes for various machines that reach a sort of apex in Al-Jazari’s celebrated Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (1206), which functions not only as a historical source on this rich culture of invention but also as a speculative design manual for an alternative technological culture.
In , their 1990 science fiction novel, Bruce Sterling and William Gibson pitched a similar sort of idea relating to 19th century Victorian culture as part of a steampunk imaginary: what if the modern age of computation had already started then, a hundred years earlier than thought?
Our project with Ayhan Ayteş on the Middle-East legacy of technology and design is exhibited in the Studio X space.
Besides featuring objects from this particular historical period of approximately 800-1200, the idea is to make this heritage enter into a conversation with speculative design, an alternative geopolitics of technology and imaginaries of design and media.
Turkish journalists and activist soon read and revealed that the so-called “AKPleaks”-documents were not really anything that interesting as it was advertised to be.