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Title: Tangible tools
Date: 2016/12/31
### Colm O'Neill
#### student number: 0901273
Thesis submitted to: the Department of Media Design and Communication,
<br>Piet Zwart Institute,
<br>Willem de Kooning Academy.
In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts in Fine Art and Design: Media Design (49114):
Adviser: Marloes de Valk, Second Reader: Aymeric Mansoux.
<br>Rotterdam April 2017
Title: Dissertation abstract
Title: Thesis introduction
Date: 2017/01/01
# Abstract :
The move away from manual crafts towards on-screen counterparts has been ongoing since the first generations of software, in the late 1940s. It is a regular phenomenon in this day and age. Computer and software technologies promise —potential— for accessibility, flexibility, scale and speed of innumerable tasks. Many types of software are available for ranges of jobs, from every day actions to very complex and specific professional needs. This study first presents an understanding of what *craft* means today, now that different professions —say electrical circuit designers and photo editors— use very similar utilities. We look at how the practices and cultures that stem from manual crafts have been affected by their transformations to work within an operating system. It becomes clear that some labours have improved, while others have only —at best— been accelerated by the morphing. Therefor this study puts forward that a confusion between efficiency and efficacy when transforming a craft into a computer program can put severe weight on the origins and traditions of that field, and ultimately make the tool feel hermetic. <!--(tentatively answering the question relative to why it is important that tools and practice transfer culture and knowledge)--> This observation drives the inquiry toward the user and the (re-)learning —curve. What is the users position in the new scheme of actions that is software? Is s/he supposed to know all of the reasoning's and practices or is one to accept that *this is the order of things* without any context? Then, we note that the workplace has also been shifted, first out of physical tools, onto personal computers, and now again onto ‘the cloud’. What is the reasoning behind this third step? Is it necessary? Who is this helping, and what extra barriers does it place between practice and field knowledge? Finally, this study posits that a few re-considerations, of the user and the way s/he is talked to by the software —and it's makers—, could be a very simple but important change towards a broader understanding of what is happening and why, with huge benefits for all involved.
This thesis speaks of modern graphic design. It is written from a personal perspective on the field, and on how I think it is understood. I feel like graphic design has become to be understood as purely utilitarian. A decorative function of communication. With this text, I follow an intuition that misunderstandings of what graphic design is come from the ways it is practised, on computers, with computers and for a computer based existence. I believe misunderstandings exists inside and outside the field, but this thesis will concentrate on my perceptions as a designer from within.
A [foreword](http://tangible.tools/dissertation-introduction.html#foreword) and a [formal introduction](http://tangible.tools/dissertation-introduction.html#introductionformal) to this dissertation exist, but are not included in the academic longform for word count reasons. Accessible via sentence linktext.
Researching this feeling requires the investigation of three main points; firstly, the notion of craft. How can craft be defined, and how has it's understanding changed with the the adoption of general purpose computers as tools. Secondly, a dive into the existing confusion between efficiency and efficacy in software tools. Efficiency being an avoidance of waste, efficacy being the ability to produce a desired effect. The interchangeability of these two notions lead me to understand the nature of some software tools, how they interface with me, and how that interfacing effects the use and understanding of the tool. Lastly, the learning curve of alternative interfaces is considered, what the payoff of a more invested relation to software tools may be, and what I believe is at stake when interfaces try to disappear.
I'm developing the opinion that for graphic design not to be seen as a simple utility, designer themselves must change their relations to their practice and their tools, so the secondary thematic of this text is interfacing —as an active verb. I refuse to accept the constructs that show the digital world as totalities, I believe I must see them as wrappers and conventions that masquerade as solutions to problems. Interfaces are a type of dialog. While developing this text, the realisation that the dialog was not neutral became clearer and clearer. With the setting of graphic design, I'll consider what it means to be an end-user.
"The computer world deals with imaginary, arbitrary made up stuff that was all made up by somebody. Everything you see was designed and put there by someone. [...] There are so many ideas to care about, and with ideas comes the politics of ideas." (Ted Nelson, 2012)
Title: Chapter 1 — Defining ‘craft’ Date: 2017/01/02
= Defining ‘craft’ =
In ‘The Craftsman’, Richard Sennett is fast to give a definition of craftsmanship: « an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake ». As comforting as it is to be able to put craftsmanship back to a basic human impulse, still in the prologue, he states his two main theses: firstly « all skills, even the most abstract, begin as bodily practices; » secondly « technical understanding develops through the powers of imagination ». Without even needing to dig into the theses, Sennett shows that craftsmanship is somewhere within skills, technique, bodies and imagination.
<blockquote>A major argument of Sennett’s is the role of social order in the development of craft. Sennett states that an ancient ideal of craftsmanship is “joined skill in community” (51). Medieval Workshops, in particular, provided a communal atmosphere and social structure that guided the development of skill through “authority in the flesh” as opposed to knowledge “set down on paper” (54). There is an implicit authority in the workshop, a social order that values the “quality of skill” over “occupation of a place of honor” (61). The workshop binds people together as if forms a community of masters and apprentices. Quality and ethical codes of work are transmitted through such communities (and the guilds in which they participate) ensuring continuity while also allowing for creative developments through partnerships and communal participation. The medieval workshop began its demise with the Renaissance separation of art and craft. This separation emphasised the individual and her/his creation of “art” over communal development. The workshop became an inferior social space reserved for a lower class of society. <br><small>(Josh Sweeden, Ph.D. student in Practical Theology on ‘The Craftsman’, by Richard Sennett)<sup id="a1">[[#f1|1]]</sup></small>
</blockquote>
By the end of the 18th century / start of the 19th, we see the appearance of industrial capitalism. A capitalism of investments, that rests on a tight combination of technique and science. This will enable very high levels of production, by, not only, but importantly, enhancing productivity,<sup id="a2">[[#f2|2]]</sup> something we will come back to in chapter 2. Consequence of this is the destruction of a large portion (peasantry) of the population's physical health, not to mention it's wealth. The peasants then becomes proletarian, etc, etc. Our modern history has deconstructed craft. Away from the workshop, into the production chain.
<blockquote>Next, Sennett explores the implications of machines (replicants and robots) for craftwork. He ultimately shows how machines quickly were created for large-scale production, “gradually threatening the standing of the most skilled laborers and increased the number of semi- or unskilled workers.” Sennett affirms machinery for the sake of eliminating “unskilled, noisome tasks,” but claims that it is problematic when it “replace[s] high-cost skilled labor” (106). Instead of workshops, the new working community was steel mills and factories, and as such a new social structure was adopted, carrying different assumptions of appropriate work conditions as well as knowledge and authority. <br><small>(Josh Sweeden, Ph.D. student in Practical Theology on ‘The Craftsman’, by Richard Sennett)</small>
</blockquote>
20th century something new happens; consumerist capitalism. The notion of consumerism, is likened to Fordism at first, not to be confused with productivist capitalism which supposes the proletarisation of the producers<!--—the workers, that then become proletarian, who then would lose all of their professional know how-->. In the consumerist capitalism model it's not only the workers that lose their know how, the effects and effects on mentality extend to the consumers, who don't lose knowledge, but certainly lose their savoir vivre. I disambiguate slightly in historical context not to speak about software directly, but to be able to speak about the possibilities of craft within what software is.
It understandable and logical, in ways, why practice with software is not viewed today as a craft. First of all, by it's very nature, it is no longer a manual action. It starts and it ends on the same virtualisation apparatus that sees all sorts of other information and media. It's the same apparatus that a lot of people use today, for very many other tasks. The only real basis for materiality within software is analogy: a major portion of application software interface relies on analogies such as files, folders, documents, desktops, copying, pasting etc. All through the spectrum of software, from the seemingly simple to the complex and specific, we're asked to draw upon understandings of the physical world: paint brushes, paint buckets, pencils to perform actions that are going to be like what using those would be in the real world, but not really. When Sennett says that ''all skills, as abstract as they can be, begin as bodily practices,'' it's hard to imagine one being able to develop skills in the way that we understand them, thanks to Sennett, in a virtual world dependent on analogies.
It is also clear that Sennett's second thesis is hard to project in the world of software. One of the other specificities of software is that it is made by people attempting to solve to a problem, facilitate a specific task. The software maker defines boundaries, something that does not exactly stimulate imagination. This is not to say that technical understanding can not be acquired through the use of software, but again, the scope of that understanding is solely in the hands of the one making the intermediate. It's very simple to think of software only as a tool, and therefor, it has ‘single’ tasks.
We are looking at a (new) space for work that is extremely tailored. Computer programming is a sort of building by adding, in opposition to a manual craft which is more comparable to sculpting pre-existing materials. When an application that enables a virtual practice is programmed, the construction model is the other way around to the manual craft. The developer must consider what the premises for the practice are. She/he must develop an understanding of what the craft is, and how it can be interpreted by a computer. Then, by building, begin to answer all the needs of the (interpreted) craft. I would add that this, even when done properly, is only half the battle, the other half being the building of the communication devices that will give access to all that has been engineered. Access to the end user. Half of the job is in the interface.
I struggle to think of utilitarian software that does not have roots in some sort of craft. Even the most mundane computer tasks like file sorting, can have ways of doing that are the result of ''the desire to do a job well for its own sake''. If it didn't then we would have to ask operating system makers for alphabetical sorting, date sorting, logical directory structures, etc. There is a need for us to rethink what craft is today, towards digital craft, where the computer is as primary tool and environment. We have indeed lost physical tangibility, bodily actions and certain ways of imagination, but there is still enormous quantities of skill to be derived from the —re-imagined— techniques.
The difference between traditional crafts and digital crafts is that they have a different genealogy. A traditional craft builds upon itself, from itself. Sennett points to the importance of social order for craft. He speaks of communities of people in workshops and in same spaces. This relies on the existence of physical bodily actions, something that we gave up with software when we ‘agreed’ that machines would be faster and better than workers and craftsmen. I do however believe that it is towards a type of social order that we must look to start rebuilding an understanding of what craft is on-screen: the orders and hierarchy that we've built into computers. The logics that have been built in to computing systems, are a type of social order that we actually all respect as they are, we just don't really know about it; the orders don't make themselves apparent to the end user, but they can be simplified / understood as communications, requests and responses, managements and resource distributions. For us to be able to perceive quality digital practice as a craft, we must start by acknowledging and celebrating it's environment, how close it is to social order, how it came to be, and the immense amount of culture(s) and knowledge that makes it possible. We are part of this culture when we use computers. It is a relatively young culture, but one that is given to us, made to work for us to and helps us to better ourselves, so we must celebrate it. Then we can rebuild an appreciation for what is actually given to us through software. Logical as it is that software wants itself discreet and utilitarian, it is our job (but not only ours job, cfr chapter 3) to remind ourselves what is going on ‘under the hood’ on during the actions on screen.
If we can keep in mind how fantastic the sciences and progress that enable computers are, then we are closer to being able to feel the granularity that exists for and in all software, however seemingly simple or complex the interface.
One remaining aspect to address is the perception of quality within craft. Quality is important here because it gives us appreciation. Quality is as complex in manual craft as it is in digital craft. It is not the object of this study to attempt an explanation of what quality is, instead, I think that the embrace of an adversarial attitude to all the understandings and views of quality would be healthy. The fact that contemporary philosophy is still in discourse about how to distinguish certain kinds of qualities from one another, points to large diversity, range, needs, desires, morals, and cultures of different people. This same multiplicity is involved in digital cultures, so I can not pronounce on what quality digital craft is for all of it's realm. However the presence of —albeit differently understood— good and bad quality objects is beneficial to the understanding of digital craft. The discussion of what makes a quality software product is, in itself, helpful to highlight the granularity and ‘social’ layers I call for above.
To end off this chapter, I return to Sennett who gives us an example of his understanding of good quality modern craft:
<blockquote>Sennett does find hope in new developments of high technology. He cites the Linux Corporation which developed a sense of cooperation and collaboration among workers addressing problems. Instead of a framework of competition which establishes “clear standards of competition and closure…needed to measure performance and to dole out rewards,” Linux succeeded through “technological craftsmanship, the intimate, fluid join between problem solving and problem finding” (33). Linux revives a social space for craft similar to that of medieval workshops. It is attractive for people who aspire to be good craftsmen, who are “depressed, ignored, or misunderstood by [other] social institutions” (145).
</blockquote>
To refer back to the economic models noted over time —that were interrupting the quotes of Sennett's book at the start of the chapter— an other perspective on the different frameworks could be to call them ‘economies of contribution’: a contributive economy is an economy inside which those who contribute individuate themselves while contributing. This is the landscape, the Linux, free and open source software landscape, where skills and communities come back together to rebuild know how, rebuild quality in social manors, for the better of themselves, and for the better of all involved. I believe this to be what we should be looking and demanding for, in digital crafts.
-----
<b id="f1">1 </b>Josh Sweeden, Ph.D. student in Practical Theology on ‘The Craftsman’, by Richard Sennett: http://www.bu.edu/cpt/resources/book-reviews/craftsman-by-richard-sennett/ [[#a1|↩]]
<b id="f2">2 </b>Transcribed extracts from a Bernard Stiegler interview on Contributive economies: https://vimeo.com/32540487 [[#a2|↩]]
-----
= Table of contents: =
== [[#|Abstract]] ==
== [[#|Introduction]] ==
== [[chapter-1-defining-craft.html|Chapter 1 : defining ‘craft’]] ==
== [[chapter-2-efficacy-or-efficiency.html|Chapter 2 : efficacy or efficiency]] ==
== [[chapter-3-the-user-the-learning-curve.html|Chapter 3 : the user, the learning curve]] ==
== [[dissertation-conclusions.html|Conclusions]] ==
......@@ -3,7 +3,9 @@ Date: 2017/01/04
# The user, the learning curve
Requesting that an interface become more open in the programs that it uses implies greater investment from the user. It would become necessary for a user to learn the basic procedures enabled by the interface. Such an interface method expects the user to have some motivation towards learning the ways of computers and information systems. Learning this somewhat invisible material/procedure that the software system is comprised of is not always *easy* or necessarily always logical, but a payoff of the learner's investment is a much greater agency across the spectrum of computation. Following are some examples of interfaces that strike a balance between usability and visible seams.
I find myself stuck between the effects of solution providing software and interfaces: I identify primarily as an end user of software, but graphic design has lead me to web design, and with it, web development, so I now also identify with the second category of "parties involved in the configuration of software": curators.[ref]i.e. the end-user-facing entities that integrate software structured as services into their own operations (they include so-called enterprise customers). Curators pick and choose which services to use with implications for their end-users. These curators can be IT departments, local web development teams or individual developers;(Gürses and van Hoboken, 2016)[/ref] (Gürses and van Hoboken, 2016) My work as an independent graphic designer and website developer involves the choice and implementation of pre-existing tools and processes for others to publish their content. But the more I do work as curator/middle-man, the more responsible I feel for the digital literacy I expect of the end-users I produce (for). This leads me to question the potential for the acquisition of this kind of literacy, with regards to people (customers/collaborators) who spend a lot of time on computers despite my services.
Requesting that an interface become more open in the display of the routines/programs/packages that it uses will require greater investment from the user. It would become necessary for a user to learn the basic procedures enabled by the interface. Such an interface method expects the user to have some motivation towards learning the ways of computers and information systems. Learning this somewhat invisible material/procedure that the software system is comprised of would not be *easy* or necessarily directly logical, but a payoff of the learner's investment is a much greater agency and situation across the spectrum of computation. Following are some examples of interfaces that strike a balance between usability and visible seams.
![_playGnd](../images/_playGnd.png)
<figcaption>This interface called _playGnd enables the creation of 3d objects that can be easily embedded on web pages. The tool proposes to start with the graphical user interface, but each value that is changed or tweaked automatically updates in the code view that is flush left on the screen. This dual attitude of code and interface shows the user how each object is encoded and reflected by the interface, in the code. It's a great tool for learning the 3D web languages. (accessed March 2017) </figcaption>
......@@ -14,19 +16,18 @@ Requesting that an interface become more open in the programs that it uses impli
![Firefox's 3d HTML view](../images/firefox3D.png)
<figcaption>This 3d view is a feature inside the web inspector that is built into the Firefox web browser. Hypertext Markup Language is a way to tag portions of text for hierarchy of a document. The Browser can then read the markup and visually render the hierarchy that has been encoded. Web inspectors let users and website makers review how their html is being interpreted by the browser. Firefox takes this one step further by offering this 3d view of the html document, by layering enclosed and nested items over one another. The 3d view lets you click on the different visual layers to see what the element stack is, displaying HTML exactly how the browser reads it, but letting the user look at a third dimension rendering, for clarity and understanding.(accessed March 2017) </figcaption>
I find this type of interface extremely interesting and nourishing. These examples follow many of the established communication and interface conventions, but offer alternative positions, informing the user of the computer language and proceedings, augmenting the interface to be an exploratory, interesting object in itself. To this point I've been advocating more verbosity and transparency in interface. The examples above highlight the potential of an interface as a tunnel through abstraction layers. They make space for interfaces to become exploratory, wherein some elements are present purely to inform, for browsing purposes, I use the term browsing here in much the same way as [Adele Goldberg does in the presentation documents for one of the first graphical user interfaces; Smalltalk](https://youtu.be/AuXCc7WSczM?t=1m32s): in which browsing is emphasised because “too often we think of computers as being very precise machines, in which we have to very precisely say I want this or that and you get it back, exactly what you asked for. But the nice quality of a library [browser] is that you can walk around looking for something specific, but as you do that, you find other things, and that's what browsing is all about.” (Goldberg, 1979)
Goldberg and Smalltalk were prolific during the early 80s, a period when the computer was no longer reserved only for scientists or engineers. Personal computers were thought to extend towards other fields, other crafts could benefit from computational power. The work of Goldberg and Alan Kay (a fellow researcher within the Learning Research Group at Xerox PARC) on graphical user interfaces was never meant to obfuscate code, to hide it from the user, as it is on other commercial computer systems today, it was meant to augment the code to help you program. Windows and Apple, whose commercial activity was spawned from the work at Xerox, chose to ignored the metamedia concept (detailed below), instead, simply imitating old media. Movies, Music and books would eventually become .mov, .mp3 and .pdf on the computer, not all that different from their analog counterparts (Briz, 2016). In contrast, for Goldberg and Kay, the computer was an active medium which could “respond to queries and experiments, so that the message may involve the learner in a two-way conversation. This property has never been available before except through the medium of an individual teacher. We think the implications are vast and compelling [...] a new kind of medium would have been created: a metamedium, whose content would be a wide range of already existing and not-yet-invented media.” (Goldberg and Kay, 1977)
I find this type of interface extremely interesting. These examples follow many of the established communication and interface conventions, but offer alternative positions, informing the user of the computer language and proceedings, augmenting the interface to be an exploratory, interesting object in itself. To this point I've been advocating more verbosity and transparency in interface. The examples above highlight the potential of an interface as a tunnel through abstraction layers. They make space for interfaces to become exploratory, wherein some elements are present purely to inform, for browsing purposes, I use the term browsing here in much the same way as [Adele Goldberg does in the presentation documents for one of the first graphical user interfaces; Smalltalk](https://youtu.be/AuXCc7WSczM?t=1m32s)[ref]https://youtu.be/AuXCc7WSczM?t=1m32s[/ref]: in which browsing is emphasised because “too often we think of computers as being very precise machines, in which we have to very precisely say I want this or that and you get it back, exactly what you asked for. But the nice quality of a library [browser] is that you can walk around looking for something specific, but as you do that, you find other things, and that's what browsing is all about.” (Goldberg, 1979)
Unfortunately, it is hard to find many embodiments of the working methods for interfaces Goldberg and Kay set out in 1977. Teaching and learning is not a concern for modern interfaces. I am concerned by this lack of focus for learning as I find myself stuck between the effects of solutionist interfaces. In that light, a simple overview of the structure of the “parties involved in the configuration of software, services and it's [...] implications on the world” is helpful. These are: “1) developers and operators, i.e. the parties who develop software, architect services and operate the cloud infrastructure. Typically, service operators themselves use other services for development and may integrate services into their offering to their customers; (2) Curators, i.e. the end-user-facing entities that integrate software structured as services into their own operations (they include so-called enterprise customers). Curators pick and choose which services to use with implications for their end-users. These curators can be IT departments, local web development teams or individual developers; (3) End-users, i.e. the individual users, consumers, employees, workers, students, patients, audiences, who are affected by the structuring of software as services.” (Gürses and van Hoboken, 2016)
Goldberg and Smalltalk were prolific during the early 80s, a period when the computer was no longer reserved only for scientists or engineers. Personal computers were thought to extend towards other fields, other crafts could benefit from computational power. The work of Goldberg and Alan Kay[ref]a fellow researcher within the Learning Research Group at Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre[/ref] on graphical user interfaces as they conceived them was never meant to obfuscate code, to hide it from the user, as it is on other commercial computer systems today, it was meant to augment the code to help you program. Windows and Apple, whose commercial activity was spawned from the work at Xerox, chose to ignored the metamedia concept[ref]a new classification of medium imagined by the Learning Research Group, whose content would be a wide range of already existing and not-yet-invented media.[/ref], instead, simply imitating old media. Movies, Music and books would eventually become .mov, .mp3 and .pdf on the computer, not all that different from their analog counterparts (Briz, 2016). In contrast, for Goldberg and Kay, the computer was an active medium which could “respond to queries and experiments, so that the message may involve the learner in a two-way conversation. This property has never been available before except through the medium of an individual teacher. We think the implications are vast and compelling [...] a new kind of medium would have been created: a metamedium, whose content would be a wide range of already existing and not-yet-invented media.” (Goldberg and Kay, 1977)
Within this structure, I am the middle-man, the curator, and it is from this position that most of the development of my thoughts around the communication issues within interface have been spawned. My work as an independent graphic designer and website developer involves the choice and implementation of pre-existing tools and processes for others to publish their content. But the more I do work as middle-man, the more responsible I feel for the digital literacy I expect of the end-users I produce for. This leads me to question the potential for the acquisition of this kind of literacy, with regards to people (customers / collaborators) who spend a lot of time on computers despite my services.
Unfortunately, it is hard to find many embodiments of the working methods for interfaces Goldberg and Kay set out in 1977. Passing information from the background to the foreground is not a concern for modern interfaces.[ref]A subculture of computer enthusiasts sharing configuration files, dot-files, the parameters with which they have configured their software does exist, and is vibrant. Example: https://gitlab.com/sandorczettner/dotfiles/tree/master In this sense, an view of interfaces being tunnels through abstraction layers is very much alive.[/ref] I rarely see instances of interfaces considering the task of teaching. I am concerned by this lack of focus for knowledge transfer. So I identify the concepts of experience and seamlessness to be responsible for the lack of literacy mentioned above. The result of these notions is that these interfaces end up looking like one another and adopting one an other's characteristics. Consistency is actively encouraged as a way ‘*for users to be able to transfer their knowledge and skills from one app to another. The principle of consistency holds that an app should respect its users and avoid forcing them to learn new ways to do things for no other reason than to be different.*’ (macOS Human Interface Guidelines, 2017) However, this statement relies on the assumption that previous apps have gotten everything right and that all the knowledge that users need exists already. The fact that it discourages alternate approaches limits diversity. Diverse interfaces are necessary in order to promote diverse approaches to different practices. If all methods become and feel similar, it stands to reason that operations/outcomes will become similar. The term consistency is one amongst many others within these guidelines: Forgiveness, Aesthetic integrity, Metaphors, Mental models, all of these principles are documented and spoken of as singular ways to make software interfaces. They exist within the world of macOS, which openly states that it believes that technology should be transparent. In opposition to this, my vision for better communications within interfaces relies on visible seams. When OSx says transparent, they mean to make the components of an interface invisible. I believe the opposite needs to happen, that we must make models that are heterogeneous, and build interfaces that make some homogeneity for functions. The confrontation in the video below makes these visions clearest, in the words of the company itself:[ref]for offline readership: this video puts two conversations in parallel, one being a snippet from Marshall McLuhan's lecture The medium is the message (1977) that detail how the "the hidden aspects of the media are the ones that should be thought". The second is a portion of an advertisement run by Apple when promoting their tablets. The speech here says: "We believe technology is at it's very best, when it is invisible."[/ref]
These notions of experience and seamlessness seem to be responsible for the lack of literacy mentioned above. The result of these notions is that these interfaces end up looking like one another and adopting one another's characteristics. Consistency is actively encouraged as a way ‘*for users to be able to transfer their knowledge and skills from one app to another. The principle of consistency holds that an app should respect its users and avoid forcing them to learn new ways to do things for no other reason than to be different.*’ (macOS Human Interface Guidelines, 2017) However, this statement relies on the assumption that previous apps have gotten everything right and that all the knowledge that users need exists already. The fact that it discourages alternate approaches limits diversity. Diverse interfaces are necessary in order to promote diverse approaches to different practices. If all methods become and feel similar, it stands to reason that outcomes will become similar. The term consistency is one amongst many others within these guidelines: Forgiveness, Aesthetic integrity, Metaphors, Mental models, all of these principles are documented and spoken of as singular ways to make software interfaces. They exist within the world of macOS, which openly states that it believes that technology should be transparent. In opposition to this, my vision for better communications within interfaces relies on visible seams. When OSx says transparent, they mean to make the components of an interface invisible. I believe the opposite needs to happen, that we must make models that are heterogeneous, and build interfaces that make some homogeneity for functions. The confrontation in the video below makes these visions clearest, in the words of the company itself:
<video controls="" poster="http://contemporary-home-computing.org/art-and-tech/not/material/mcluhnik.jpg" height="405" width="100%">
<video class="no-print" controls="" poster="http://contemporary-home-computing.org/art-and-tech/not/material/mcluhnik.jpg" height="405" width="100%">
<source src="http://contemporary-home-computing.org/art-and-tech/not/material/09.webm" type="video/webm">
<source src="http://contemporary-home-computing.org/art-and-tech/not/material/09-web.mp4" type="video/mp4">
</video>
Apple inc encourages consistency for ‘user to be able to transfer their knowledge and skills from one app to another’ in their interface guidelines. They seem to confuse interface knowledge and computer literacy repeatedly with this attitude. One may be able to re-use an interface trick between one app and another, but this is only ported conventions, not actual knowledge or skill. The consequence of the consistency of the interface conventions that are nurtured is regularity and therefor, a sense of comfort. I believe that a comfortable, regular interface destroys a propensit for digital literacy. Comfort means that everything has been taken care of for the user, and she/he has absolutely no questions to answer or to ask regarding the procedures. Comfortable interface accomplishes the task of disappearing completely and leaves no space for experimenting (apart from interface conventions) the literacy of digital practices and crafts. Apple is not the only company that works in this way, but they are the most successful at the moment, and in my network, unfortunately the most present.
Clearly, a learning curve does exist, and a certain knowledge becomes a dependency, which is inevitable if a more heterogeneous mix of interfaces is to surface. Facing the learning head on can be daunting, I believe this to be the case because of how many of the computer proceedings choose to happen out of sight. This learning can appear overwhelming because there are no clear boundaries to computer literacy. One subject leads to the next, and no doubt depends upon other components to function. But I'm strong in my belief that investing time towards computer literacy is rewarding. Exploring the backgrounds of software systems often reveal histories and narratives that are fascinating and thought-provoking. Being more familiar with what happens behind the scenes, or under the hood has often brought me to understanding the componentry of my computer, and that most of these components are usable individually. A vision of how my (design) tools function and the structure they are built on makes me aware of alternatives procedures and able to consider occurrences where I might not need the full-fledged tool. Being able to interact with software componentry leaves me with transportable knowledge across situations and tasks. This knowledge means I'm able to think with parameters in mind and I'm able to conceptualise in adjustable environments. The derivations of this understanding loops over to become the methodologies and inputs for next projects. And my imagination does get stimulated by technical understanding (McCullough, 1996).
I would be remissed not to mention that digital literacy, like any literacy, is best acquired around enthusiasts, in communities that take pride in the subject matter. The groups of people that gather around the Linux operating system[ref]or other Unix-like free and open-source development and distribution models[/ref] use and make programs with the ideals of digital literacy at heart. Understanding componentry, in this model, is much easier and accessible, because these procedures are written about, thought about, developed and celebrated in a commons that brings the understanding of software and computer systems as an active vibrant culture.
Title: Dissertation conclusions
Title: Thesis conclusions
Date: 2017/01/05
# Conclusions
With this dissertation I attempt to understand the factors made and that make software plainly utilitarian. The economic dimensions always seem omnipresent as an uphill battle, but I'm too exited about the potentials of computers and software to give up on the fight for “cultural software” (Lev Manovich, 2011). Moreover I'm motivated by movements that question the political and social elements that are translated into the technical domain. "The computer world deals with imaginary, arbitrary made up stuff that was all made up by somebody. Everything you see was designed and put there by someone. [...] There are so many ideas to care about, and with ideas comes the politics of ideas." (Nelson, 2012)
The questions that drove this thesis have been addressed from my personal experience. I feel very strongly about my field becoming functional utility because I believe in the power of a visually shaped message. It confuses me that the majority of the graphic design I observe in the public, executed by professional shape givers, is not more interested in it's position in relation to the politics of the tools it is created out of. During my training in art school, I used to get frustrated with my peers and I coming to similar visual resolutions to the assignments we had. It became clear after a few of these occurrences that, while we might have had different interests and background cultures, we were receiving the same assignment, from the same teachers, out of the same workshops; and we responded to these assignments with influences from the same lectures, the same blogs, same magazines; then we resolved them with the same tools (and similar methods in said tools, as we had been thought these tools together) on the same computers. Finally we all went to the same print shop and did our final cuts and bindings in the same ‘technical’ room, before assessments. I'm explaining this frustration because I think a lot of what was happening during graphic design school is happening in today's professional design world too. Trends will be trends and influences weigh differently from place to place, but my reoccurring feeling is that a lot of the bits of graphic design I see nowadays tastes the same as the next. It feels similar. It's not unthinkable that these designers would have had similar influences, or followed similar trends, but the taste and the feel I'm talking about comes from composition and from shapeliness. It's like all this design was made on the same grid, or had to abide to the same template. It's like all the production had to conform to the same guidelines, bordering on the line of subliminal. My cynical belief is that this is true, because it is an almost sure bet that these designers have worked within similar environments, within similar influences, with similar design tools, on very similar computers. The consequence of all design looking the same is that it all gets read the same way. Serving the same pictorial facture over and over means that the audience views in comparison, not in difference. This shortcuts to a view of graphic design that is a regularised transaction.
I hope to have addressed indirectly the situation of computer illiteracy and made a stance for what we users should be demanding. I am simply weary of interface constructs that seem to make the learning of the behind the scenes elements harder because they have no reason, and therefor make me think that there may be a hidden agenda in these practices. This suspicion is probably more often false than true, but is a growing concern stemming from “the Agile Turn”(Gürses and van Hoboken, 2016). Confirming this statement is not an area I want to research, for fear of what I might find, but the example of ways in which lack of functional computer knowledge is leveraged for a solutionist financial gain occur very often online and across digital services. They offer something for free, but get a lot more out of the data that is harvested from their user base. These are reasons why I advocate for wider spread knowledge of the functioning of information systems. Meanwhile, in and for all of this the *learning* aspects are key, and it is with the ideas of learning and spreading knowledge that I stay motivated.
To state this opinion clearly: I am not holding the position that every human must learn computer architectures and programming languages. What I am calling for are interfacing methods that are not seamlessness, but that reveal their parts, toggling between heterogeneous and homogeneous displays, and that trust their users as equally smart as the software builders. I do not believe that everybody must be on similar technical levels of understanding computer technologies either, but I do think that a broader and better understanding of all of the types and all of the layers of abstractions that are needed for computers and networks to function is, in my opinion, a valiant way forwards.
I think the similar compositions and similar shapes come from the defaults and presets the used tools have. Somehow the mould and the cast are identicals, and that ends up being just OK. I'm quite confused and disenchanted by this state of affairs, but I do believe that interesting graphic design can be restored. It can be rebuilt by looking at what it involves to make graphic design today. The re-identification as crafts-people as opposed to sequencers is the first point. Understanding how craft has changed, how tools have changed it, and what it means to practice with abstracting / abstracted tools and understanding the politics that surround these tools is a second point. Seeing that ‘industry interests’ are not to be taken for granted, and that efficiency and speed actually have costs. The costs constitute the third and broadest point of this thesis, about learning curves and their payoffs.
In short, I am not holding the position that every human must learn computer architectures and programming languages. What I am saying is that interfacing methods should be helpful, reveal their parts, toggle between heterogeneous and homogeneous displays, and that trust their users as equally smart as the software builders. I do not believe that everybody must be on similar technical levels of understanding computer technologies either, but I do think that a broader and better understanding of the types and the layers of abstractions that are needed for computers to function is increasingly important. I also believe that the need for a certain digital literacy extends beyond professional practitioners. The powers of information technologies, information systems are all around us and the examples that show us how their use and existence embodies specific politics, become forms of governance, arise daily.
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......@@ -24,40 +24,38 @@ EXAMPLE VIDEO
Mrgeorged, 2009. Top Gear The Stig revealed Full. [video online] Available at: <http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=eTapK5dRaw4> [Accessed 23 June 2009].
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EXAMPLE MAILINGLIST
* Sweeden Josh, 2009. Craftsman, by Richard Sennett | Center for Practical Theology [online] Available at: <http://www.bu.edu/cpt/resources/book-reviews/craftsman-by-richard-sennett/> [Accessed November 2016]
Author, Initial., Year. Subject line, Title of Mailing List. [online] date of message. Available at: include web site address/URL (Uniform Resource Locator) [Accessed date].
* Stiegler Bernard, 2012. ITW Geek Politics Bernard Stiegler. [video online] Available at: <https://vimeo.com/32540487> [Accessed September 2014]
Murrey, T., 2009. Sharing good practice, Forum for International Students. [online] 23 June 2009. Available at: <http://www.internationalstudentforum.com> [Accessed 23 June 2009].
* Broeckmann Andreas, 2001. Review: Abstracting Craft: The Practiced Digital Hand by Malcolm McCullough, Leonardo, [online] Available at: <http://www.jstor.org/stable/1576995> [Accessed November 2016]
-->
* McCullough Malcolm, 1996. Abstracting Craft: The Practiced Digital Hand. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
* Apple Inc, 2017. macOS Human Interface Guidelines. [online] Available at: <https://developer.apple.com/library/content/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGuidelines/DesignPrinciples.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/20000957-CH18-SW1> [accessed February 2017].
* Sennett Richard, 2008. The Craftsman. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
* Briz Nick, 2016. The Browser: how it became the artist's modern canvas. [video online] Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRCgREBrcTo> [accessed March 2017].
Fuller, Matthew, It looks like you're writing a letter: Microsoft Word, 5 Sept 2000 http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-0009/msg00040.html
* Broeckmann Andreas, 2001. Review: Abstracting Craft: The Practised Digital Hand by Malcolm McCullough, Leonardo, [online] Available at: <http://www.jstor.org/stable/1576995> [Accessed November 2016]
Lialina, Olia, Rich User Experience, UX and Desktopization of War, 7 November 2014 http://contemporary-home-computing.org/RUE/
* Fuller Matthew, 2000. It looks like you're writing a letter: Microsoft Word. Nettime. [online] 5 September 2000. Available at: <http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-0009/msg00040.html> [Accessed 22 September 2016].
Dobbins, Michael, Urban Design and People, 1st ed. “for the answer before the questions have been fully asked” (New York: Wiley, 2009), 182.
* Gürses Seda and van Hoboken Joris , 'Privacy After the Agile Turn, in: Selinger et al (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy, Forthcoming 2017. [online] Available at <https://osf.io/ufdvb/> [Accessed October 2016].
http://www.trademarkia.com/theres-an-app-for-that-77980556.html
* Goldberg Adele and Kay Alan, 1997. Personal Dynamic Media, original publication: *Computer* 10(3):31-41. March 1997. [Available in] The New Media Reader, 393-404, [text online] Available at: <http://www.newmediareader.com/book_samples/nmr-26-kay.pdf> [Accessed January 2017].
Seda Gürses and Joris van Hoboken, 'Privacy After the Agile Turn, in: Selinger et al (eds.), The
Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Privacy, Forthcoming 2017. Available at https://osf.io/ufdvb/.
* Goldberg Adele, 1979. Smalltalk-80 in a TV show. [video online] Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuXCc7WSczM> [accessed March 2017].
Fuller, Matthew, It looks like you're writing a letter: Microsoft Word, 5 Sept 2000 http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/nettime-l-0009/msg00040.html
* Lialina Olia, 2014. Rich User Experience, UX and Desktopization of War. [online] Available at: <http://contemporary-home-computing.org/RUE/> [Accessed 10 October 2016].
https://developer.apple.com/library/content/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGuidelines/DesignPrinciples.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/20000957-CH18-SW1, accessed February 2017
* Manovich Lev, 2011. Cultural software. [online] Available at: <http://manovich.net/content/04-projects/070-cultural-software/67-article-2011.pdf> [Accessed January 2017].
Briz, Nick, Video essay, The Browser: how it became the artist's modern canvas, accessed March 2017, available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRCgREBrcTo
* McCullough Malcolm, 1996. Abstracting Craft: The Practised Digital Hand. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Goldberg, Adele and Kay, Alan, Personal Dynamic Media, original publication: *Computer* 10(3):31-41. March 1997. Available in The New Media Reader, 393-404, http://www.newmediareader.com/book_samples/nmr-26-kay.pdf
- Nelson Ted, 2012. The Myth of Technology/Computers for Cynics. [video online] Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdnGPQaICjk> [Accessed December 2016].
Goldberg, Adele, Smalltalk-80 in interview, available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuXCc7WSczM, accessed March 2017.
* Sennett Richard, 2008. The Craftsman. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Manovich, Lev, 2011, Cultural software,
* Stiegler Bernard, 2012. ITW Geek Politics Bernard Stiegler. [video online] Available at: <https://vimeo.com/32540487> [Accessed September 2014].
- Ted Nelson, The Myth of Technology/Computers for Cynics(2012)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdnGPQaICjk
* Sweeden Josh, 2009. Craftsman, by Richard Sennett | Center for Practical Theology [online] Available at: <http://www.bu.edu/cpt/resources/book-reviews/craftsman-by-richard-sennett/> [Accessed November 2016].
Title: Bibliography
Date: 2017/01/07
* DiSalvo Carl, 2012. Adversarial design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
* Galloway R. Alexander, 2012. The interface effect. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
* McCullough Malcolm, 1996. Abstracting Craft: The Practiced Digital Hand. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
* Morozov Evgeny, 2013. To Save Everything Click Here. London, UK: Penguin books.
* Sennett Richard, 2008. The Craftsman. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Title: Acknowledgements
Date: 2017/01/08
I would like to thank Marloes de Valk, Aymeric Mansoux and Steve Rushton for their writing support. The body of tutors at the Piet Zwart Institute, Master in Media Design and Communications for feedback and project development. Open Source Publishing for their energy, welcome and flexibility. Finally, my family and parents for their enablement, encouragements and support.
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Title: Dissertation introduction
Title: Dissertation introduction longform outdated
Date: 2017/01/01
# Abstract :
......
Title: Trim 5 assessment presentation
Date: 2017/04/03
Template: slidy
<div class="slide section level1">
<p>Title: Trim 5 assessment presentation markdown Date: 2017/04/03 Template: slidy Status: draft</p>
</div>
<div id="trimester-5-assessment" class="slide section level1">
<h1>Trimester 5 assessment:</h1>
<ul>
<li>Part 1: Recap, update, prototypes</li>
<li>Part 2: Question: cynicism best managed with critical making or with direct communication?</li>
</ul>
</div>
<div id="part-1-a-recap-contextualisation" class="slide section level1">
<h1>Part 1: A) Recap, contextualisation</h1>
<h2 id="what">What?</h2>
<p>This project is about interfaces and how they address us. <br>The way interfaces speak, what they are, what they do and what they embody. The project looks at language specifically, but the context for the language is equally as important.</p>
<div class="figure">
<img src="../images/tone-profile-delta.png" />
</div>
</div>
<div id="my-interest-in-interfaces-stems-from" class="slide section level1">
<h1>My interest in interfaces stems from</h1>
<ul>
<li>communication</li>
<li>textual communication</li>
<li>visual communication</li>
<li>accessiblity</li>
<li>possible literacy</li>
</ul>
</div>
<div id="software-interfaces-have-many-forms" class="slide section level1">
<h1>software interfaces have many forms</h1>
<ul>
<li>command line interface</li>
</ul>
<div class="figure">
<img src="../images/CLI.png" />
</div>
</div>
<div id="software-interfaces-have-many-forms-1" class="slide section level1">
<h1>software interfaces have many forms</h1>
<ul>
<li>IRC bot interface</li>
</ul>
<div class="figure">
<img src="../images/IRC.png" />
</div>
</div>
<div id="software-interfaces-have-many-forms-2" class="slide section level1">
<h1>software interfaces have many forms</h1>
<ul>
<li>Graphical user interfaces</li>
</ul>
<div class="figure">
<img src="../images/inkscape-menu.png" />
</div>
</div>
<div id="software-interfaces-have-many-forms-3" class="slide section level1">
<h1>software interfaces have many forms</h1>
<ul>
<li>Chatbot interface https://www.tacobell.com/feed/tacobot</li>
</ul>
<div class="figure">
<img src="https://d29vij1s2h2tll.cloudfront.net/~/media/images/taco-bell/feed/slack/tacobot_preview.gif?la=en" />
</div>
</div>
<div id="interfaces-for-software-services-appear-in-so-many-different-ways-we-dont-really-know-what-they-do-for-us-anymore." class="slide section level1">
<h1>Interfaces for software services appear in so many different ways, we don't really know what they do for us anymore.</h1>
<div class="figure">
<img src="../images/interfaces2.gif" />
</div>
</div>
<div id="interfaces-address-us-in-so-many-different-ways-were-beginning-to-forget-about-them.-a-sort-of-interface-omnipresence-then-an-incontestable-voice." class="slide section level1">
<h1>Interfaces address us in so many different ways, We're beginning to forget about them. A sort of interface omnipresence, then an incontestable voice.</h1>
<div class="figure">
<img src="../images/interfaces.gif" />
</div>
</div>
<div id="the-meaning-of-interface-is-slowly-being-confused-in-the-very-same-way-the-word-technology-has-lost-meaning." class="slide section level1">
<h1>The meaning of <strong>interface</strong> is slowly being confused, in the very same way the word <strong>technology</strong> has lost meaning.</h1>
</div>
<div id="ttechnology-has-slowly-lost-meaning-because-it-has-started-to-mean-everything." class="slide section level1">
<h1>(T)technology has slowly lost meaning, because it has started to mean everything.</h1>
</div>
<div id="most-of-the-times-we-say-ttechnology-we-mean-to-say-that-it-is-packaging-and-conventions." class="slide section level1">
<h1>Most of the times we say T(t)echnology we mean to say that it is packaging, and conventions.</h1>
</div>
<div id="not-to-say-that-technologies-do-not-exist-they-simply-are-much-deeper-buried-than-we-think." class="slide section level1">
<h1>Not to say that technologies do not exist, they simply are much deeper buried than we think.</h1>
<ul>
<li>TCP/IP</li>
<li>DNS</li>
<li>DHCP</li>
</ul>
<p>these are all technologies, but to say that 'the internet', for example, is a technology is plain oversight.</p>
</div>
<div id="most-of-the-times-we-say-technology-we-mean-to-say-that-it-is-packaging-and-conventions." class="slide section level1">
<h1>Most of the times we say Technology we mean to say that it is <strong>packaging</strong>, and <strong>conventions</strong>.</h1>
</div>
<div id="what-we-see-with-interfaces-is-the-tip-of-the-iceberg-we-see-the-wrappers-the-packagings.-and-these-wrappers-are-given-to-us-with-but-also-as-interfaces." class="slide section level1">
<h1>What we see with interfaces, is the tip of the iceberg, we see the wrappers, the packaging’s. And these wrappers are given to us <strong>with but also as</strong> interfaces.</h1>
</div>
<div id="why" class="slide section level1">
<h1>Why?</h1>
</div>
<div id="interfaces-are-the-front-end-to-technologies" class="slide section level1">
<h1>interfaces are the front-end to <em>technologies</em></h1>
</div>
<div id="from-here-i-believe-it-is-important-to-remind-that-interfaces-are-active-they-are-an-action-not-a-mechanical-process." class="slide section level1">
<h1>from here, I believe it is important to remind that interfaces are active, they are an action, not a mechanical process.</h1>
</div>
<div id="to-interface-is-a-verb-i-interface-you-interface-....-the-interface-occurs-is-action." class="slide section level1">
<h1>(To) interface is a verb (I interface, you interface ...). The interface occurs, is action.</h1>
</div>
<div id="as-an-action-the-interface-is-the-conduct-of-a-person-or-a-set-of-people." class="slide section level1">
<h1>As an action, the interface is the conduct of a person or a set of people.</h1>
</div>
<div id="as-an-action-conducted-by-people-interfacing-comes-attached-with-the-ideas-of-people." class="slide section level1">
<h1>As an action conducted by people, interfacing comes attached with the ideas of people.</h1>
</div>
<div id="this-project-exists-to-remind-that-there-are-lots-of-ideas-to-care-about-and-whichever-ones-we-do-or-dont-care-about-ideas-through-actions-through-interfaces-come-with-the-politics-of-ideas." class="slide section level1">
<h1>This project exists to remind that there are lots of ideas to care about, and whichever ones we do or don't care about, ideas, through actions, through interfaces, come with <em>the politics of ideas</em>.</h1>
</div>
<div id="more-specifically-more-personally-why" class="slide section level1">
<h1>More specifically, more personally, → Why?</h1>
</div>
<div id="i-believe-that-there-is-alot-at-stake-a-lot-that-is-risked-when-interfaces-disappear." class="slide section level1">
<h1>I believe that there is alot at stake, a lot that is risked when interfaces 'disappear'.</h1>
</div>
<div id="the-masking-the-dissapearance-the-misleading-the-confusions-of-interfaces-and-technologies.-i-think-that-most-of-these-phenomenons-are-happening-mainly-due-to-an-over-flooding-of-interfaces-in-the-users-regular-digital-practice." class="slide section level1">
<h1>The masking, the dissapearance, the misleading, the confusions of interfaces and technologies. I think that most of these phenomenons are happening mainly due to an over flooding of interfaces in the users regular digital practice.</h1>
</div>
<div id="entire-fields-are-developing-around-the-ideas-of-user-interaction-and-user-experience.-processes-and-constructs-that-exist-to-keep-a-user-interested-to-keep-a-user-focused-on-the-interface-and-therefor-acting-within-the-ideas-the-ideals-the-morals-of-the-interface." class="slide section level1">
<h1>Entire fields are developing around the ideas of user interaction and user experience. Processes and constructs that exist to keep a user interested, to keep a user focused on the interface, and therefor, acting within the ideas / the ideals / the morals of the interface.</h1>
</div>
<div id="we-are-renaming-interfacing-as-experience" class="slide section level1">
<h1>We are renaming interfacing as experience:</h1>
<ul>
<li>‘experience designers’</li>
<li>‘user experience designers’</li>
<li>‘user interface designers’</li>
<li>‘interaction designers’</li>
<li>‘product designers’</li>
</ul>
</div>
<div id="because-so-called-technology-is-also-about-capture-most-pessimistically-getting-permanent-customers-chained-into-their-seats.-everybody-seems-to-be-wanting-to-capture-the-user-either-for-money-or-for-identical-almost-religious-reasons." class="slide section level1">
<h1>Because so called Technology is also about capture, most pessimistically, getting permanent customers chained into their seats. Everybody seems to be wanting to capture the user, either for money, or for identical (almost religious) reasons.</h1>
</div>
<div id="attempting-to-keep-a-user-focused-and-interested-with-the-extremely-well-researched-fields-of-user-experience-leads-me-to-think-of-these-ideals-as-enforced-politics.-that-by-using-such-interface-to-a-program-i-am-substituting-my-ideas-my-ideals-for-the-ones-of-the-interface." class="slide section level1">
<h1>Attempting to keep a user focused and interested with the extremely well researched fields of user experience leads me to think of these ideals as enforced politics. That by using such interface to a program, I am substituting my ideas, my ideals for the ones of the interface.</h1>
</div>
<div id="it-is-an-uneven-playing-field.-one-of-service-and-literacy.-a-model-that-has-existed-for-years-but-this-model-of-service-service-in-the-digital-realm-touches-many-more-aspects-of-life-and-culture-and-politics-then-trades-services-used-to." class="slide section level1">
<h1>It is an uneven playing field. One of service and literacy. A model that has existed for years, but this model of service, service in the digital realm touches many more aspects of life and culture and politics then trades services used to.</h1>
</div>
<div id="to-balance-out-this-playing-field-the-simple-answer-is-in-my-opinion-broader-understanding-and-broader-literacy-of-interface-practices." class="slide section level1">
<h1>To balance out this playing field, the simple answer is, in my opinion, broader understanding and broader literacy of interface practices.</h1>
</div>
<div id="how" class="slide section level1">
<h1>How?</h1>
</div>
<div id="b-prototypes-catalogue-and-database" class="slide section level1">
<h1>B) Prototypes : catalogue and database</h1>
</div>
<div id="the-issues-that-keep-me-interested-in-interfaces-are-vast-and-wide-spreading.-the-effects-of-the-image-practices-the-visual-cultures-are-an-example-of-an-aspect-of-interface-communication-i-have-not-been-able-to-look-into." class="slide section level1">
<h1>The issues that keep me interested in interfaces are vast and wide spreading. The effects of the image practices, the visual cultures are an example of an aspect of interface communication I have not been able to look into.</h1>
</div>
<div id="instead-ive-focused-on-the-very-most-basic-interface-language." class="slide section level1">
<h1>Instead I've focused on the very most basic interface: language.</h1>
</div>
<div id="in-all-the-ways-in-which-interfaces-speak-to-us-the-use-of-language-is-one-way-of-slicing-through-this-vast-topic." class="slide section level1">
<h1>In all the ways in which interfaces speak to us, the use of language is one way of slicing through this vast topic.</h1>
</div>
<div id="a-few-of-my-attempts-to-grasp-the-languages-employed-by-interfaces" class="slide section level1">
<h1>a few of my attempts to grasp the languages employed by interfaces:</h1>
<ul>
<li>http://tangible.tools/problematic-modes-examples.html</li>
<li>http://tangible.tools/active-text-conversions.html</li>
<li>http://tangible.tools/text-conversion-diff.html</li>
<li>http://tangible.tools/flesch-kincaid-readibility-tests-cookie-policy-anouncements.html</li>
<li>http://tangible.tools/visualising-website-cookie-policy-information.html</li>
</ul>
</div>
<div id="building-a-database-a-catalogue-with-which-to-look-at-the-ways-in-which-interfaces-work.-building-collections-and-crossing-metadata." class="slide section level1">
<h1>building a database, a catalogue, with which to look at the ways in which interfaces work. Building collections and crossing metadata.</h1>
<ul>
<li>http://tangible.tools/problematic-modes-examples.html</li>
</ul>
</div>
<div id="attempting-to-broaden-this-collection-resulted-in-the-attitude-of-an-ethnographic-analysis-a-categorisation-of-the-subversive-methods-by-which-interfaces-become-omnipresent" class="slide section level1">
<h1>Attempting to broaden this collection resulted in the attitude of an ethnographic analysis, a categorisation of the subversive methods by which interfaces become omnipresent:</h1>
<p>http://localhost:5000/</p>
</div>
<div id="catalogue-ethnography-vs-net-art-piece" class="slide section level1">
<h1>catalogue / ethnography vs net art piece</h1>
<p>→ a cynical overtone</p>
</div>
<div id="sort-of-a-cross-section-right-now-go-with-the-negative-or-go-with-the-positive" class="slide section level1">
<h1>Sort of a cross section right now; go with the 'negative', or go with the 'positive'?</h1>
<ul>
<li>https://darkpatterns.org/</li>
<li>https://crit.hangar.org/toolbox/</li>
<li>https://www.autistici.org/index</li>
<li>https://tacticaltech.org/</li>
<li>http://www.ifapa.me/</li>
<li>https://disnovation.net</li>
<li>http://internet-atlas.net/</li>
</ul>
</div>
Title: Trim 5 assessment presentation markdown
Date: 2017/04/03
Template: slidy
Status: draft
# Trimester 5 assessment:
* Part 1: Recap, update, prototypes
* Part 2: Question: cynicism best managed with critical making or with direct communication?
# Part 1: A) Recap, contextualisation
## What?
This project is about interfaces and how they address us.
<br>The way interfaces speak, what they are, what they do and what they embody.
The project looks at language specifically, but the context for the language is equally as important.
![](../images/tone-profile-delta.png)
# My interest in interfaces stems from
* communication
* textual communication
* visual communication
* accessiblity
* possible literacy
# software interfaces have many forms
* command line interface
![](../images/CLI.png)
# software interfaces have many forms
* IRC bot interface
![](../images/IRC.png)
# software interfaces have many forms
* Graphical user interfaces
![](../images/inkscape-menu.png)
# software interfaces have many forms
* Chatbot interface https://www.tacobell.com/feed/tacobot
![](https://d29vij1s2h2tll.cloudfront.net/~/media/images/taco-bell/feed/slack/tacobot_preview.gif?la=en)
# Interfaces for software services appear in so many different ways, we don't really know what they do for us anymore.
![](../images/interfaces2.gif)
# Interfaces address us in so many different ways, We're beginning to forget about them. A sort of interface omnipresence, then an incontestable voice.
![](../images/interfaces.gif)
# The meaning of **interface** is slowly being confused, in the very same way the word **technology** has lost meaning.
# (T)technology has slowly lost meaning, because it has started to mean everything.
# Most of the times we say T(t)echnology we mean to say that it is packaging, and conventions.
# Not to say that technologies do not exist, they simply are much deeper buried than we think.
* TCP/IP
* DNS
* DHCP
these are all technologies, but to say that 'the internet', for example, is a technology is plain oversight.
# Most of the times we say Technology we mean to say that it is **packaging**, and **conventions**.
# What we see with interfaces, is the tip of the iceberg, we see the wrappers, the packaging’s. And these wrappers are given to us **with but also as** interfaces.
# Why?
# interfaces are the front-end to *technologies*
# from here, I believe it is important to remind that interfaces are active, they are an action, not a mechanical process.
# (To) interface is a verb (I interface, you interface ...). The interface occurs, is action.
# As an action, the interface is the conduct of a person or a set of people.
# As an action conducted by people, interfacing comes attached with the ideas of people.
# This project exists to remind that there are lots of ideas to care about, and whichever ones we do or don't care about, ideas, through actions, through interfaces, come with *the politics of ideas*.
# More specifically, more personally, → Why?
# I believe that there is alot at stake, a lot that is risked when interfaces 'disappear'.
# The masking, the dissapearance, the misleading, the confusions of interfaces and technologies. I think that most of these phenomenons are happening mainly due to an over flooding of interfaces in the users regular digital practice.
# Entire fields are developing around the ideas of user interaction and user experience. Processes and constructs that exist to keep a user interested, to keep a user focused on the interface, and therefor, acting within the ideas / the ideals / the morals of the interface.