In a world increasing formed through and by technology, it is important to explore and experiment with the flows of power which permeate peoples and things of all kinds, to apprehend, expose, understand and/or disrupt the systems we are entangled with on a daily basis. To achieve this, we need to develop methodologies that are more playful and speculative than those now dominant in society. Through such methods, we might grasp the agency of material things and the systems that envelop them.
The Open Systems Association (OSA) is an association of practitioners and thinkers that collaborate under a shared ethos. It is not an academic body, but remains linked to critical and theoretical practices, in both the methodologies we use and the themes and ideas explored, creating a working knowledge in which thought, action and experimentation are constantly intertwined. It aims to be a platform for speculative, playful, and open means of exploration into the various technologies and systems that surround us.
For the OSA, these technologies and systems are not limited to smart phones, software, or chips and pins, but extend into the ecologies and situations we face everyday such as sunlight, mothers in parks, medical practices, food, etc. Everywhere we go we see the possibilities of systems to explore.
OSA is currently based out of the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College, University of London. It stemmed out of the MA Interactive Media: Critical Theory and Practice, from which many of its members graduated, and still continues to have close ties with the course.