In their article, Afrofuturist Museums Mines Artifacts from the Future, Sargent writes about theie inspiration for how they do their work as “generat[ing] these artifacts from the ground up. As opposed to artists generating them, [they] wanted to have a community of people that are invested to create these artifacts” (Sargent). As a group, they employ participatory design to tell the imagined future of black people. They place the power in the hands of the community to allow them to have their ideas turn into tangible manifestations. This gives people agency over their future and fuel to pursue them in the present.
QuoteMe is a crowdsourced words of wisdom device. QuoteMe is a technology geared to be used by the elderly in society. QuoteMe is a necklace technology similar to that of Life Alert, but when the user presses the button it will start recording their story. If the user double clicks the button, someone else’s story will begin to play. This would be the elderly’s social media. They too can reap the benefits of an interconnected world, but the technology has to be accessible to them. Elderly folks can maybe rid the feelings of loneliness with this technology. They know someone else is going to listen to their story and they know someone else is going to tell them one. Aside from having a forward-facing experience with the user, on the back end there will be hundreds, if not thousands of life stories that have been crowdsourced. These stories will become the generational wisdom that is passed down – and it is now archived.
In this lifeworld, there needs to be the issue that many elderly people are not being given proper attention. These elderly people would need to not be technologically literate and also have the desire for community. In this lifeworld, it would need to be evident to society to see this is an issue, because the elderly may not know about it in the first place. Like almost all technologies, there is the potential for misuse. Someone could use the interconnected elderly to scam the elderly or to disturb their peace while using QuoteMe. Despite its simplicity, QuoteMe is a technology that is accessible to the elderly because of its ease of use. This technology aims to help the elderly find their use for our increasingly interconnected world.
The motivation for building these artifacts “from the ground up” makes it clear that Sargent values community thought and input, especially from the black community (Sargent). QuoteMe is a channel for the elderly of society to participate in a collective creation, like the work at Iyapo Repository. Both innovations are motivated by bringing people into the participatory design/creation idea but vary in medium. Iyapo Repository collects information via the creations of the community in their facilities, but QuoteMe does it via voice. Broadly, both innovations aim to bring stories to the forefront, but what is most important is the medium via which they are going to tell it through. Which mediums are suitable to gather the information that is lacking from design processes? Do different mediums produce different level impact? Do some users speak through different mediums more efficiently than others?
Sargent, Antwaun, 2016. Afrofuturist Museum Mines Artifacts from the Future. Blog. http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/afrofuturist-museum-artifacts-from-the-future.