Galloway stressed (2008: 947) that existing theories of the interface that only understood it as a palimpsest “can only ever reveal that the interface is a reprocessing of something that came before.” As he alludes, the interface is not simplya set of inscriptions written onto a static object, nor just a fossilized configuration of past practices brought together into a particular media form. Rather, the interface is better understood as a generative performance taking place in the present, a performance intersecting with elements outside its original remit: culture and capital, gender and history. In other words, an interface does not just register the conditions of its own production, but also actively reinscribes them back into the world in specific ways: reinforcing a relationship to the commodity, formalizing a feminine-technical understanding, supporting a particular sexual subjectivity. In connecting, bridging and mediating, the interface is simultaneously shaping. If the interface is a fertile nexus, it is one that is both lively and can affect our lives. Alexa poses an important and ongoing question about what forms that nexus should take.
Web browser design, however, has stagnated: we surf one page at a time, with back/forward buttons to travel through recent history. Tabs let us explore many pages at once, but retain no information about their relationship to one another