CategoryReading Responses

Reading Response: Transforming Mirrors

Reading Response to Transforming Mirrors: Subjectivity and Control in Interactive Media by David Rokeby

David Rokeby claims that the technology we use reflects back to us like a mirror. This is what makes technology interactive and can give us a sense of self-image. He believes that technology as a mirror can be a form of self expression. For example, artists can try to instill interaction into the context of their art by providing a “blank canvas” or “looking glass” for the spectator to reflect upon. When we are presented with a blank canvas, we have a natural curiosity to want to fill that canvas.

He also states that interaction can be added through navigable structures, creative mediums, transforming mirrors and automation. In my personal work, I feel that it is a combination of these factors that makes my artwork more interactive, with navigation being the most important for me. I find that intuitive navigation is what draws the user or spectator into the work. When the navigational structures are too difficult to use or understand, the user is likely to lose interest in the work and give up.

Reading Response: A Cyborg Manifesto

Reading Response to A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway

Donna Hardaway claims that the people of the late twentieth century have become cyborgs, a concept of hybrid machine and organism which blurs the line between reality and imagination. Previously, machines were not capable of self-motivation, self-design and autonomy, but now our machines have become more and more lively and humans have become more inert. This all comes down to a blur in the concept of our identities of gender, race and class. I feel that we have progressed even further down this path now that we are in the year 2015 (Haraway originally wrote her manifesto in 1983).

She also criticizes the feminism movement as alienating its audience rather than communicating. I feel that any movement or cause that is trying to achieve influence over other people should make it a fundamental principle not to alienate or leave out other people. I agree with Haraway, and believe that it makes it harder for people to listen or be influenced if they feel alienated.

Reading Response: The Medium is the Message

Reading Response to: The Medium is the Message by Marshall McCluhan

A medium is the vehicle for delivering a message, but Marshall McCluhan claims that as technology has evolved, the medium itself has become the message. The author gives an example of how new technology, in this case “automation” by machines, can disrupt social patterns by eliminating jobs in the workplace. At the same time, automation creates new roles and specialization. However, it was not the machines themselves (the medium) that caused this disruption, it was how people used the machines.

Electric light is typically a medium without a message, but the information that is transmitted through light is actually another medium, so McClauhan deduces that every medium’s content is really just another medium.

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