Uses This

A collection of nerdy interviews asking people from all walks of life what they use to get the job done

A picture of Georgina Voss

Georgina Voss

Technology anthropologist, writer, artist

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Georgina. I live in South London. What I do - gestures expansively - is research-intensive projects (writing [essays, journalism], performance, installation, sculpture) about the politics of large-scale complex technological and industrial systems; and teaching about the same.

I'm co-founder and lead/director of two studios: Supra Systems Studio, based at the London College of Communication's Design School, University of the Arts London, where I'm a senior lecturer; and Strange Telemetry, in residence at Somerset House Studios. My PhD is in the anthropology of deviance, and industrial economics.

What hardware do you use?

Nearly all work is done on 2014 MacBook Pro which I am praying will never ever ever die; phone is a rose gold iPhone which I will likely replace with a fairphone or similar when its time is up. I tend to work with a big external monitor when I need to do large, time-intensive pieces of work. I've got a series of A5 and A4 notebooks for making notes and scribbling in, working through ideas and getting them out of my head rather than to capture complete forms for later. I've had the same workhorse Panasonic Olympus dictaphone for over a decade.

I've done projects working with digital fabrication/additive manufacturing, through residencies at Autodesk's Pier 9, and RAMLAB. The Stratsys Objec30 printer, Coherent Metabeam plasma cutter (slicing through metal with fire, +++), and the enormous OMAX waterjet have a place in my heart. I may yet end up in a civil partnership with a Panasonic Valk Welding robot. (I suspect one reason I keep doing work on large machinery is as an excuse to spend time with large machinery).

My housemate has a range of king-level coffee equipment including a Technivorm MoccaMaster which, though I do not own, I enthusiastically use. There's also a short-throw projector at home which I've used for developing on performance/installation works that have involved projection; and, when rigged up to the PS4, for games and films. I live in M&S HeatGen when it gets cold.

And what software?

I find it impossible to write in anything other than Word, primarily for the split-screen function. I use Scrivener for mapping out writing projects and storing references; Dropbox for slabs of documents; and a series of spreadsheets in Excel and GDocs for planning all the things. I persist in making slides in PowerPoint, against the advice and disappointment of my design colleagues.

I've sporadically used a range of visual/photogrammetry tools - Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, ReCap, Fusion 360. Other programs -- Ableton, MaxMSP, Blender -- I have weak kitten-like skills around, but I'd like to get more comfortable with.

Clue is the single best software tool I can think of, tying together my messy sense of time with the realities of my physical form; and was also the thing that made me realise that what I'd worried was an ongoing glandular fever relapse was actually pre-menstrual exhaustion. Thanks, Clue!

What would be your dream setup?

Universal healthcare and education, open borders, an alternative internet, better battery life. A gigantic warehouse big enough to do enormous work in; a huge city; also, a forest.