TWO AESTHETICS OF THE FUTURE NOW Blade Runner Mac GUI circa 1984
Between these dystopic (digitality will ruin everything!) and utopic (digitality makes everything better!) extremes, what is your developing opinion on the changes in all aspects of our culture brought by new media? A BIG QUESTION
CIRCULAR INFLUENCE Culture Design and Aesthetics Ways of Thinking
Cut & Paste & Copy Images Movies Text Sounds 3D Models INTERFACE IMPOSES ITS LOGIC Distinguishing between a part and a whole/a beginning and an end is potentially meaningless Distinguishing between a copy and an original becomes problematic Distinguishing between different types of media is meaningless because we interface with them all in the same way.
WORK/PLAY Not only use same interface logics, but are switchable with the simple click of a tab. What happens to a person/culture where work and play are interfaced the same way?
“A point where two systems, subjects, organizations, etc., meet and interact.” Webster’s Dictionary GUI (Graphical User Interface): “ a human- computer interface (i.e., a way for humans to interact with computers) that uses windows, icons and menus and which can be manipulated by a mouse or finger (and often to a limited extent by a keyboard as well). INTERFACE
TMITM “The Medium is the Message.” -Marshall McLuhahan But what does this mean?
“When you use the internet, everything you access- texts, music, video, navigable spaces- passes through the interface of the browser and then, in turn, the interface of the OS. In communication, a code is rarely simply a neutral transport mechanism; usually it affects the messages transmitted.” Manovich (64) KEY QUOTE
PAST INFLUENCES In many ways, most websites reflect the values of print culture before them: Rectangular surface Limited amount of info “The screen is aggressive.” Designed to have an order Some relationship to other pages Embedded images, drawings, and tables Why?
PAST INFLUENCES Movable Camera Rectangular Representation of Reality Something “inside” and something “outside”
“The acceptance of hyperlinking in the 1980s can be correlated with contemporary culture’s suspicion of all hierarchies, and preference for the aesthetics of collage in which radically different sources are brought together within a singular cultural object.” Manovich (76) Think about Your ipod Your dinner table Your wardrobe Your television habits Your computer bookmarks SEEMINGLY SIMPLE HYPERLINKS, BUT ONE OF THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCES Put Differently: If the WWW was created in the 1940s or 1950s people would most certainly not have been ready for it.
ORGANIZATION OF COMPUTER DATA Hierarchical Organized Linear Logic Clear Paths to Results User Control Manovich suggests this is more than a way to organize computer data- the decision to organize computer data in this way reflects a worldview.
ORGANIZATION OF THE WWW Non-Hierarchical Emergent Importance User Chosen Paths/Wandering Associative Logic User Creation A very different worldview than system data information. We switch back and forth between these two interfaces all the time, every day.
INTERFACE LOGIC/WORLD VIEWS Computer Systems Hierarchical Organized Linear Logic Clear Paths to Results User Control Web Systems Non-Hierarchical Emergent Importance User Chosen Paths/Wandering Associative Logic User Creation As we use computers, we switch back and forth and back and forth between these two interface worldviews everyday (or sometimes use them simultaneously as we wander/explore to a new site but then are asked to upload a file from the rigid hierarchy of our OS). What are the larger cultural, personal effect of this switching?
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