1 Sprzężenie dodatnie
This text is a reedited version of a presentation for the 2nd International Fair Design Conference on Design Theory and Criticism, which was held in 2018, and addressed the notion of excess. Writing or speaking of excess as a participant in the civilization of excess seems awkward, or even impossible. Thus, my article less makes direct reference to excess than interprets a mechanism which, I believe, is largely responsible for the excessive nature of our civilization – the (positive and negative) feedback mechanism. The notion of feedback, though derived from the hard sciences, is treated rather imprecisely here. This will, I hope, keep my description more ambiguous, giving it more interpretive potential. The axis is the thesis that, on the one hand, in promoting progress and development, our civilization has operated (for almost two centuries) in terms of positive feedback, while on the other, if we are not to have everything collapse upon our heads at once (as a result of the excess), it must increasingly apply and respect the principle of positive, self-regulating feedback. The opposition of these two types of feedback generates a fairly strong tension, precluding an unequivocal and certain interpretation of the processes that govern contemporary civilization. It also prompts the question: Is a polar shift necessary or achievable? This is not an academic paper, a critique, or an admonition; it is an attempt to describe or illustrate what strike me (perhaps inaccurately) as traits of our civilization in a more atypical, decidedly non-objective, yet more visual, and thus (I hope) more compelling way.