[-empyre-] Glitch / HCI

B. Bogart ben at ekran.org
Fri Jan 31 12:57:52 EST 2014

I was looking at the upcoming Prix Ars application process and realized
that there was not really a place for my (generative) work, I looked
over at the "interactive art" section to see how broadly it was defined,
and found this:

"Jurors are looking forward to encountering innovative technological
concepts blended with superbly effective design (usability)."

This struck me because I'm just now working on a talk where I'm trying
to articulate some of the interactions between culture, technology and
cognition. I consider usability and "good design" as being designs that
fit very well with existing expectations, and therefore also social
norms. It's quite possible that such designs are just indoctrination
machines that blindly follow the ideals of the status quo. They reflect
the already dominant values of a culture, thus our current intuitive
technology favours spontaneous perusal of what is current and hip.
Consumption is just a click away in virtual "stores" (data repositories)
suggested by algorithms and "friends" on social networks.

They go beyond just reflection because they reinforce particular notions
and behaviours. Somewhere in our history we decided sitting was
something we should do, so we invented chairs. The more chairs we
encountered the more we were inclined to sit, now many of us sit most of
the day. In google's auto search completion
(http://www.unwomen.org/ca/news/stories/2013/10/women-should-ads) we
have a similar effect, where even non-misogynists click on it out of
curiosity, thereby reinforcing the pattern.

The nature of how quickly we learn and internalize technologies, with
hardly any criticism or hardly awareness, leads me to think that HCI is
really about shaping behaviour and therefore also cognition. What
happens if we shift the role of HCI to social and cognitive engineering?
Considering consumption and the capitalist machine, maybe it already has.

Apologies if this is too late or already discussed, I've only been
checking into the discussion sporadically.

Ben Bogart

On 14-01-27 07:06 AM, G.H. Hovagimyan wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Let’s say that you open your computer one day and search for your paper
> , “The Theory of Structure.”  Instead of the seach producing your paper
> it produces a jpeg of an orange.
> You are annoyed. There is a glitch in the system. You then try a search
> for the jpeg orange and the computer produces your paper.  You try this
> with several papers and discover that everytime you search for text it
> produces a jpeg and every time you search for a jpeg it produces a
> paper.  You try to fix the glitch but after several attempts and long
> call with tech support the computer is not fixed. You decide to live
> with it.  This produces a new language system where images represent
> papers.  If you are an artist you may decide that this constitutes an
> artwork. Why? Because it makes you view the existing systems and
> language structures in a new way. The paths in your brain are altered as
> much as the paths in the computer. 
> In the early 90’s several artist’s programmers stated working with the
> internet. They had a strategy of subverting code and browsers to create
> alternate page layouts. JODI.org <http://JODI.org> is a good example. So
> it Netomat.  This is also an artistic position that takes a stand
> against an engineered future. This might be simliar to the idea of  art
> vs anti-art. In this form it might be code vs anti-code.  This is also a
> strategy that I use in my artworks mixing the techniques of anti-art and
> anti-code or hacking.
> On Jan 26, 2014, at 4:20 PM, Daniel Temkin <daniel at danieltemkin.com
> <mailto:daniel at danieltemkin.com>> wrote:
>>  I discussed the JPEG to
>> illustrate the way things we might ordinarily think of as a tool or a
>> "material" can be interchangeable in the digital realm, JPEG being both an
>> algorithm to (de/en)code visual data and a file format organized
>> by/for that
>> algorithm. 
> G.H. Hovagimyan
> http://nujus.net/~gh
> http://artistsmeeting.org
> http://turbulence.org/Works/plazaville
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> http://www.subtle.net/empyre

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