Recently in assignments Category
This exhibition involved a user interface made of mud. While the overall project was whimsical and childish, the way the mud brings the physical aspect of using the computer to the forefront (given that the computer/digital is viewed as an abstract space) highlighted the physical element of any user interface--while the keys fall into the background after we get used to using them, the screen is larger and the computer is less present as an object, my chair is ergonomic, etc... the user is still situated in a physical space and interacting with physical objects (that then get abstracted through code onto the screen). I was also interested in the way the user interface (the "mud tub") left the hands of the users soiled. The user doesn't just "use" the computer from a removed perspective--the screen baths the user with all sorts of filthy, digital refuse.
While I find the simplicity of the piece (in and of itself) to be lacking ambition in its current context--the visualization of income inequality is clever and poignant; it gets the point across precisely. I can see this being used on the Internet to illustrate articles (or, more likely, be appropriated by corporations who will use the technology to make their advertising "new"). I'm intrigued by the simple elegance of it, and see a lot of possibility therein (both "positive" and "negative").