// °    // PROJECTS    // VIRTUAL PROJECTS    // SPEAKERS    // TIMELINE   <IMG SRC="fla/partikel.gif" WIDTH=150 HEIGHT=300 BORDER=0>
  // BIO 
// Lev Manovich (US/RU)
  // TEXTS 
// Cultural Interfaces and Data Aesthetics

// The Interface

// Interface as the Key Category of Computer Culture

Cultural Interfaces and Data Aesthetics
by Lev Manovich (US/RU)

The society in which gathering, processing and distribution of information play central role needs its own art forms. These forms should take into account information behaviors and information interfaces employed by people in their everyday life, such as a search engine, a Web browser, email, GUI, databases, data visualization, etc.

How can we create these new forms? We can take the clue from early twentieth century modernists who understood that the new aesthetics of industrial society has already existed in the industrial realm. They admired the forms of motorcars, bridges, grain elevators, aircraft's propellers; and they begun the project to carry over the logic of these forms into the realm of design, architecture and art. "Ornament is Dead", "The House is a Machine for Living", "Form Follows Function" are some of the slogans they designed to describe this new industrial aesthetics.

Similarly, I postulate: A Web crawler is beautiful. Quantitative data is beautiful. Multiple windows of GUI are beautiful. Email clients are beautiful. Instant Messenger is beautiful. Information is beautiful. Let the thousand data windows open; let the thousand gassian curves spring up; let the thousand pockets move through the network; let the thousand matrixes multiply themselves.

The new aesthetics already exists in information interfaces and information tools, which we use in everyday life. The challenge before us is to figure out how to employ these tools to create new art; in short, how to interface them not just to data but to representations of human experience, subjectivity and memory.

www.t0.or.at www.t0.or.at INTERFACE EXPLORER