The Goofy Physical Ways We Interact With Digital Technology
HYPERALLERGIC “The advent of portable technology has brought with it a range of new behaviors, both virtual and physical. Two recent projects take on the IRL side of how we interface with our contemporary devices.
Curious Rituals is a research project by Nicolas Nova, Katherine Miyake, Nancy Kwon, and Walton Chiu that examines “gestural interaction in the digital everyday.” Their recent PDF publication of the same name explores the grammar of physical actions that we have invented to deal with technology.
The project might sound abstract, but these are very real habits, ranging from “The iPad Photographer” — the strange, two-handed method we have of taking snapshots with iPads — to “The Security Pass Hip Bump” — the gesture of lifting a pants pocket or handbag that holds a security clearance card to a sensor in order to unlock a door.
More subtle gestures include the “Wake-Up Waggle,” tapping a computer’s keyboard and waving its mouse to wake it up, or the “iPhone Compass Callibrator,” that move of waving an iPhone in a figure-eight to orient its compass (can’t say this one has worked very well for me). “Cell Trance” refers to the daze that befalls us when walking while talking on a mobile phone: “To onlookers, the erratic perambulation looks aimless, as if the caller is detached from his surroundings, absorbed in a private sonic universe.”
The group’s study is a fascinating dive into the sociology of post-digital humanity. As technology becomes a larger part of our lives, it also becomes a bigger part of our bodies as well. Yet how we relate to our technology physically is a largely unexplored topic for most of us who adopt these actions out of subconscious convenience. Tell me you haven’t experienced the “lazy viewer” — the supine pose and horizontal orientation we take when using our laptops in bed — before. Here’s my addition: “Flip-flop,” referring to the annoyed reorientation of your iPhone while laying in bed when an app goes mistakenly horizontal.”
See more from Kyle Chayka on Hyperallergic here.
And just for fun…
What could be goofier than a plasticine iPad?
If you liked this post you might like to see cats making iPad art…
I think the pauses are the goofiest. You know what I mean – you get asked a question as you type away, and you start to speak, and then your answer finally comes… two minutes later… and as you look up to finish the reply you realise the moment has passed and you’re getting ‘that look’!
Love this exhibition! Would be a good stimulus for students art making – how thy interact with technology, how technology is a part of their lives.
Love the work. Agree students would find this a stimulating topic. Real world task at it’s best here. Art has always been a great vehicle for social commentary. Surprisingly, even though they are so immersed in the technology, many of my students comment that they do not like the impact it has on their life. Some good discussions to be had here I am sure.