Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Instructions For Use' keyword pg.1 of 1
22 NOVEMBER 2015

Questioning how we relate to the world in functional ways

"JODI's disruption of mapping and video games reminded me of Situationist artist Guy Debord's calls for a 'renovated cartography.' For Debord, when we blindly follow the same directions over and over, using the easiest paths, we get stuck relating to the world in 'functional' ways and imagination withers. Debord wanted people to use the wrong map in the wrong place — to get lost in order that we might see our surroundings anew. Similarly, JODI strips away the usual instrumental goals of our engagements with digital media — to win a game, to communicate information, to navigate quickly. What we are left with is a bare awareness of the random components of our digital lives and a glimpse at the other possibilities for technology."

(Leila Nadir, 30 April 2012, Museum of the Moving Image)

TAGS

2012agency of access and engagementcartographycontrolled environments • designing for playful engagement • Dirk Paesmansdisruptive interrogation • diversity of engagement • exploratory experimentation • exploring other possibilities for technology • functional purpose • getting lost • Guy Debordinstructions for useinstrumental conception of technologyInternet artJoan HeemskerkJODI (art collective)Museum of the Moving Imageour digital livesperformativity • questioning our uses of technology • relating to the world in functional ways • renovated cartography • rethinking boundaries • scriptible spaces • seeing our surroundings anew • Situationist Internationalsymbolic controlunfolding possibilitiesvideo games

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
01 FEBRUARY 2015

Facebook's Like and Share buttons: designing for functional purpose

1

TAGS

2014 • change aversion • communicating change • community standards • designing for functional purpose • designing for legacy devices • designing for usabilitydesigning with datadiversity of experiencesengineering designFacebook • Facebook like • functional purposeHCIinstructions for useinterface designer • legacy devices • like button • Margaret Gould Stewart • measurementproduct designproduct usability • share button • TED Talksusabilityusability engineeringuser experienceuser experience designUser-Centred Design (UCD)women designers

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 AUGUST 2012

Touch me, hold me: Franz West's anti-modernist aesthetic

"'Don't Touch' is an unspoken warning in any art museum. Sometimes an institution might post a sign explaining to visitors why touching the art on view is bad – not just for the obvious catastrophic reasons, but because even oils from hands that appear to be clean can cause incremental damage. Mostly, though, visitors already know what they are (or, rather, aren't) supposed to do in art's presence.

Touch is a privilege typically reserved for the artist who made the art, as well as its professional caretakers. In fact, 'the artist's touch' has been a central value in Western art for hundreds of years.

By the start of the 1960s, with the Abstract Expressionist generation of American painters riding high, it had even become something of a fetish. The loaded brush, the whiplash line, poured paint, the palette knife and sponge – signs of distinctive gestures mattered, almost like handwriting. De–mythologizing the artist's touch was left to Andy Warhol, who announced that he instead wanted to be a machine, and to Sol LeWitt and his idea–oriented cohort of Conceptual artists. They pulled the plug for good.

Enter Franz West, the impish Viennese artist whose compelling retrospective is at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Born in 1947, West is a generation younger than Warhol and LeWitt. The fetish for the artist's touch having been retired just before he arrived on the scene, he took the next step. In the mid–1970s, West handed things over to the audience.

Literally.

Wrapping pieces of wood and cardboard and lengths of wire with gauze, coating it in plaster or papier mâché and painting the whole thing white, West made sculptures that the audience was meant to pick up, manipulate, examine at close range, hang on an arm or around the neck, or even stick one's face into. The shapes are abstract. But often, part of the sculpture suggests a handle – a direct visual invitation to audience participation. Silently it says, Touch me, hold me.

Other shapes appear designed to fit around the neck, under the arm or on other embraceable parts of the body. Or, they echo bodily orifices. (Can a sculpture have a belly button?) A glass bottle at the end of a long stick, both embedded in lumpy papier mâché, looks like a ritual implement meant to be passed around in some primitive religious ceremony.

These materials also evoke the damaged condition art holds in contemporary life. Like a cast made for a broken limb, white plaster and gauze result in sculptures bound in a medical dressing.

West calls these sculptures 'Passstücke' –– originally translated as 'fitting pieces' (passende Stücke) but now referred to as 'adaptives.' In biology, adaptation is a structure or form modified to fit a changing environment. West's touch–me sculptures attempted the same for art's new circumstance."

(Los Angeles Times, 31 March 2009)

1

2

TAGS

2009 • Abstract Expressionist • adaptives (art) • affordancesAndy Warhol • anti-modernist aesthetic • artart museumartist • arts new circumstance • audienceAustrian artistcleanlinessconceptual art • dont touch • examine • Franz West • handlehold me • incremental damage • instructions for use • LACMA • loaded brush • Los Angeles County Museum of ArtLos Angeles Times • manipulate • mid-1970s • paper macheparticipationparticipatory process • passende stucke • passstucke • pick up • ritual implement • sculptorsculptureSol LeWitt • the artists touch • touchtouch me • touching • visual invitation • warning • western art

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
13 JUNE 2010

Open-ended play environments enable rich learning experiences

"Children learn about themselves, others and the world they live in through play. Outdoor environments for play and learning can provide rich experiences for children who seek fantasy and adventure and are innately curious about nature. Children's environments, particularly school and neighbourhood playgrounds, parks and gardens, have the potential to facilitate learning through social, emotional, cognitive and creative opportunities. Unfortunately, in America, the play and learning potential for many outdoor play spaces is underdeveloped."

(Lauri Macmillan Johnson)

Fig.1 The Adventure Playground, 160 University Avenue, Berkeley, California is an example of an open–ended play environment.

Fig.2 commercially available play environments often work to regulate engagement according to social norms.

[3] Johnson, L. M. (2004). American Playgrounds and Schoolyards – A Time for Change. In School of Landscape Architecture. Tempe, AZ, The University of Arizona Press.

1

2

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 FEBRUARY 2004

non-places: when functionality is prized more highly than experience

"But the real non–places of supertnodernity – the ones we inhabit when we are driving down the motorway, wandering through the supermarket or sitting in an airport lounge waiting for the next flight to London or Marseille – have the peculiarity that they are defined partly by the words and texts they offer us: their 'instructions for use', which may be prescriptive ('Take right–hand lane'), prohibitive ('No smoking') or informative ('You are now entering the Beaujalais region'). Sometimes these are couched in more explicit and codified ideograms (an road signs, maps and tourist guides), sometimes in ordinary language. This establishes the traffic conditions of spaces in which individuals are supposed to interact only with texts, whose proponents are not individuals but 'moral entities' or institutions (airports, airlines, Ministry of Transport, commercial companies, traffic police, municipal councils); sometimes their presence is explicitly stated ('this road section financed by the General Council', 'the state is working to improve your living conditions'), sometimes it is only vaguely discernible behind the injunctions, advice, commentaries and 'messages' transmitted by the innumerable 'supports' (signboards, screens, posters) that form an integral part of the contemporary landscape.

France's well–designed autoroutes reveal landscapes somewhat reminiscent of aerial views, very different from the ones seen by travellers on the old national and departmental main roads. They represent, as it were, a change from intimist cinema to the big sky of Westerns. But it is the texts planted along the wayside that tell us about the landscape and make its secret beauties explicit. Main roads no longer pass through towns, but lists of their notable features – and, indeed, a whole commentary – appear on big signboards nearby. In a sense the traveller is absolved of the need to stop or even look. Thus, drivers batting down the auto route du sud are urged to pay attention to a thirteenth–century fortified village, a renowned vine–yard, the 'eternal hill' of Vezelay, the landscapes of the Avallonnais and even those of Cezanne (the return of culture into a nature which is concealed, but still talked about). The landscape keeps its distance, but its natural or architectural details give rise to a text, sometimes supplemented by a schematic plan when it appears that the passing traveller is not really in a position to see the remarkable feature drawn to his attention, and thus has to derive what pleasure he can from the mere knowledge of its proximity."

(Marc Augé pp.96–97)

Augé, Marc. 1995 Non–Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, London/New York, : Verso.

1

Sign-In

Sign-In to Folksonomy

Can't access your account?

New to Folksonomy?

Sign-Up or learn more.