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Monday, July 11, 2005

Interface Melancholia

I'm a sucker for tangible interfaces. Tangible interfaces try to recouple the virtual and the real. An example would be outfitting a set of children's blocks with little sensors and using them, rather than a mouse or a keyboard, as an interface. It sounds kind of hokey, but in practice it can be pretty neat. I got hooked at the SIGGRAPH 98 art gallery by an installation that used a video projector to overlay words on a stream of water. You could hold out your hand and virtually "dam up" the stream, and the words would all swirl around as if you were holding them back. I finally looked up the info, you can find it here[1].

This[2] tangible interface (courtesy of my new addiction future feeder[3]) uses sticks and stones and leaves for interaction:

It evokes something, what exactly I'm not quite sure. It probably has something to do with Anselm Kiefer or maybe the ephemeral environmental art of Andy Goldsworthy. The movie of the installation isn't very clear, but I'm thinking it may be one of those things that's better in my imagination then in reality.

If you're in the Dallas area, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (please don't call it "the modern") has a couple of Anselm Kiefer pieces. I especially like the winged book:

The new MAMFW (please don't call it "the modern") has a steep admission charge, unlike the old and busted (but free) MAMFW. Somebody has got to pay for all that concrete. It is, admittedly, very nice concrete.

Looking back over, I'm definitely thinking Andy Goldsworthy and not Anselm Kiefer, but I know Kiefer fits in there someplace. I suspect there's a unifying theme to all this buried somewhere, but I'm too tired to dig it out. Just look at the nice pictures and try to feel all evoked.


[1] http://acg.media.mit.edu/projects/stream/
[2] http://www.d-srupt.com/weblog/2005/02/natural-interfaces.html
[3] http://futurefeeder.com

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3:15 PM  

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