napier on Mon, 29 Apr 2002 19:33:02 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: RHIZOME_RAW: GENERATION FLASH: Lev / Sawad

At 12:22 PM 4/29/2002 -0400, John Klima wrote:

>when discussing artwork, soft or not, the focus is naturally on the
>appearance of the thing. its the first thing you encounter when you
>"see" it. it's how it looks that makes the first impression regardless
>of the function.

First impressions are surely based on the visual, but lasting impressions 
are based on the overall experience of the piece, the impact it has 
intellectually, the gut feel that it creates.  If we talk only about 
appearance we'll miss the point of most art of the past 50-100 years.

>the public expects "ease of use" as the most critical element in
>software interaction, ....
>.... but where in the
>museum catalogues and art reviews do those words appear? never.

Because the concept of "usage" does not exist in art prior to 
software.  The "use" of a painting is that you hang it and look at it.  Not 
much to talk about there.  Software doesn't have to be "easy" to 
use.  jodi's site is deliberately difficult to navigate, yet it can be 
navigated, and figuring out how to get around and where things are is part 
of the experience.  Also in mouse-responsive work like, the mouse 
motion drives what happens on screen, but not in an obvious or linear 
way.  The screen often responds surprisingly to the mouse motion, which is 
more interesting than a simple 1 to 1 mapping of mouse motion to graphic 

>  how can
>one ever discuss interaction when not all people agree what is left and
>what is right? this is certainly an exageration of the problem, but it
>highlights the situation that not all users are equally capable of
>interaction. hell, some people are in wheelchairs and can't reach the

And some people are blind and can't look at visual art.  That doesn't stop 
the discussion of visual aesthetics.

>  the primary element of software art
>still firmly resides in what is displayed on the screen, and second how
>it got there, and third, how a viewer interacts with it. however, i do
>firmly believe that the best work includes all three.

Right.  And given that we're talking about software art here, and we're not 
too handicapped to experience the art on all three levels, I think it's 
worth talking about all three.


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