I gave a presentation a while ago at this event organised by Giles Lane. I promised Giles I’d write up my notes, and (only about 6 months late!) I’ve finally done it. I think Giles is publishing them in some form, but I thought I’d put part of it online as well. I was asked to comment on three research projects by artists/designers: Platfrom by Rachel Baker, Sniffer Dogs by Natalie Jereminjenko, and Hard Shoulders, Soft Verges by Shona Kitchen and Ben Hooker. The texts are ok – I’ve rewritten them quite a bit from the original presentation – so i thought I’d stick them up here, starting with my favourite, on Natalie Jereminjenko’s Sniffer Dogs. This brief essay talks about agency in intelligent systems, and pokes a tongue out at the idea that swarms or smartmobs are always benign. I structured the presentation around three themes – Agency, Accretion and Memory – so those are the titles of the essays.