In “In Defense of Useful Art”, Caroline Sinders talks about how digital art and designs can become useful tools to confront social injustice. I really like the sentence in the article that “The ‘solutions’ the artists provide are not meant to create an end to all other potential solutions, but serve to offer rather, temporary or open-source fixes for gaps in equity and violence created by society and are poetic witnesses of those gaps”. The society is constantly changing and there are new form of injustice everyday, so it’s nearly impossible for artist to find a permanent solution for social injustice. However, as digital artists and creative coder, we can still make our effort to confront injustice by creating temporary solutions and improve them by times since they are online.
"Design can help visualize or highlight parts of systemic injustice, but design must unpack and confront it’s role in contributing to injustice in technology." I love how Caroline Sinders is attempting to re-contextualize the role of design in an activist space. It's important that she acknowledges how design is both aiding and hindering the fight against systemic injustice, especially since the artists behind these works typically hail from a place of privilege in society. Sinders is suggesting that to have the time and resources to produce art is a privilege in and of itself, so it's important that artists acknowledge this when putting their work out into the world.
In Everest Pipkins reading they explain the ages of the desktop interface. What was originally the design of a home. Objects were very literal. Temple OS is meant to represent a temple, the Magic Desk 1, was a literal desk. Every element of these desktops focused on these themes. This is your area. Where you can write your own page, look at your own clock, and utilize the information provided. Slowly growing into a literal interpretation of the desk. Later on the desk grew into a room. Microsoft Bob specifically did this by gamifying your desktop. You are searching for a living room for applications. Everything is matching according to the artstyle to the room. Recently the desktop has grown from the personal to the society. There are many more options and see, and you always get a sense of the world around you. Much more of the desktop is the interaction with others around you, universal standards have been introduced to the interphase and as a result the internet looks less unique. Everest suggests that a level of personalization and charm was lost in the transition from the internet. The universal standardization. Radically affected this.
I thought the Alt-text was an incredibly interesting experience. Growing up with dyslexia, I was always aware that some fonts were more expressive than others. The fact that then information on how to update this information for a website context, really makes me happy about the world.
What I find interesting on the “This is not my beautiful house” excerpt is that, initially, designers and developers were attempting to create a literal desktop but in a digital setting, such as the Magical Desk I. Nowadays, that idea seems silly, which was my initial reaction to this. If you have the technology to design anything you want, why would you make something that exists in the real world?
Only then, I started thinking about what would it be like to be a consumer in the 70s-80s who has never before used a computer, and not understanding what it does. A literal digital desk is the first step into transitioning your work into a digital world. It’s the idea of MAYA- most advanced yet acceptable. Over the years, it would eventually convert into what we now know as a digital desktop, but to get here, there were multiple more literal versions that slowly taught us how to interact with this technology.
Due to how ubiquitous screens and interfaces have become in our daily lives, compounded further by the pandemic; it is easy to forget that it has not been even a century since they became commonplace. Being born just before the advent of the tech revolution, it is really hard for me to consider the time when it was absent. Everest Pipkin's This is not my Beautiful House goes into the history of interfaces and computers which I had never really properly considered even though I am a DT student and chose to intertwine my career with technology. I remember watching Steve Jobs' talk introducing the iPhone in 2007 earlier this semester and being creeped out by people reacting to an interaction as simple as scrolling; which we take for granted today.
I think the idea of inclusivity in tech is getting attention only now as we consider biased algorithms and narrow-minded interfaces. The idea of making alt text sound-friendly is fascinating as a way to make the web more inclusive to people who cannot visually access it. Going thought the Alt-Text as Poetry website made me realise just how easily I accepted popular opinion on interface design without considering that they might be biased and profit-motivated.
Figma Prototype: Blank Spaces at the MoMA https://www.figma.com/proto/FI2NJd54JemRuGHNhzbof8/Data-Intervention-Prototype?node-id=94%3A0&scaling=min-zoom&page-id=0%3A1
This assignment will explore how meaning can be embedded in an artwork through creative reinterpretation of information into visuals, sound, and more. Choose one data source and creatively reinterpret it into an "experience" through developing a translation methodology. This could be through translating the data into sound, a sculpture, a meal.
Think through the relationship between the information and the final output. For example, Brian Foo's Too Blue, uses audio from New Orleans Rebirth Brass Band to map the loss of Louisiana's coastline. Using music (and specifically the music of NOLA), incites an emotional response that has a cultural connection to the subject matter.
How does the form of the visceralization (I use this term in place of visualization which maybe limits us to a visual output) challenge/augment our perception of the data?
Over the course of 4 weeks, develop your concept, a methodology of data translation and its execution. All aspects of your project will be evaluated: Concept, design, presentation, execution, technical difficulty. If some technical aspects are not achievable within a time frame this can be made up with design, presentation and visualization.