Interface Criticism – Aesthetics Beyond Buttons

New international book from DUL & DARC:

From the screen of our laptops, and from the ubiquitous portable devices, smart phones, and media players, to the embedded computation in clothes, architecture and big urban screens, interfaces are everywhere. They are simultaneously demanding our attention and computing quietly in the background, turning action into inter-action, and mediating our experience of and relations to the social and environmental. But how can aesthetics respond to this, and how do interfaces set the scene for artistic practices?

Interface Criticism is not another design manual but a critical investigation for readers interested in the aesthetic, cultural and political dimensions of interfaces. With contributions from leading researchers within the field, the book covers a wide range of aesthetic expressions – including urban screens, wearable interfaces, performances, games, net-art, software art, and sound art, and discusses how new cultures evolve around, for example, open source or live coding.

The volume critically investigates the aesthetics of interfaces in ways that transcend the iconic surface of the graphical user interface and goes beyond the buttons. Ultimately the book develops interface aesthetics as an appropriate paradigm for a critical discussion of the computer.

Table of content:

  • Christian Ulrik Andersen & Søren Bro Pold: Introduction: Interface Criticism

Back: Displays and History

  • Erkki Huhtamo: Monumental Attractions: Toward An Archaeology of Public Media Interfaces
  • Bodil Marie Stavning Thomsen: The Haptic Interface: On signal transmissions and events

Through: Sensation and Perception

  • Lone Koefoed Hansen: The Interface at the Skin
  • Søren Bro Pold: Interface Perception: The Cybernetic Mentality and Its Critics:

Behind: Representation and Computation

  • Florian Cramer: What Is Interface Aesthetics, or What Could It Be (Not)?
  • Dragana Antic and Matthew Fuller: The Computation of Space

Down: Software and Code

  • Geoff Cox: Means-end of Software
  • Morten Breinbjerg: Poesis of Human-Computer Interaction: Music, Materiality and Live Coding
  • Christian Ulrik Andersen: Writerly Gaming: Political Gaming
  • Out: Culture and Politics
  • Henrik Kaare Nielsen: The Net Interface and the Public Sphere
  • Jacob Lillemose: Is There Really Only One Word For It? The Question of Software Vocabularies in the Expanded Field of Interface Aesthetics
  • Inke Arns: Transparent World: Minoritarian Tactics in the Age of Transparency
  • Christophe Bruno: Collective Hallucination and Capitalism 2.0: Scale-free Elections in France

Edited by Christian Ulrik Andersen & Søren Bro Pold
Cover art by Alexei Shulgin
Aarhus University Press, 2011, 296 pages

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