Interaction as performance : cases of configuring physical interfaces in mixed media
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Information Processing Science
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|Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Raahensali (Auditorium L10), Linnanmaa, on December 13th, 2004, at 12 noon.
Professor Liam Bannon
Professor Paul Dourish
Mixed media, as artful assemblages of digital objects and physical artefacts, provide distinctive opportunities for experiential, presentational and representational interaction. In project-based learning of architecture design, participants staged spatial narratives with multiple projections, performed mixed objects and artefacts, and exploited bodily movements in mixed representations. These cases show how physical interfaces in mixed media acquire a spatial dimension, integrate physical artefacts and bodily movements and propose configurability as a central feature. A perspective based on anthropological concepts of performance makes it possible to address these aspects in a coherent way, pointing to sense experience, the individuality and collective emergence of expression and its diachronic and event-like character. From this perspective, interaction is part of expressive events aimed at generating new insights for participants (interchangeable performers and spectators) privileging sense experience. Events are the outcome of configurations of space, artefacts and digital media, and are characterised by a simultaneousness of doing and undergoing, of bodily presence and representation. More importantly, the performance perspective suggests a particular temporal view of interaction, based on the concept of event, addressing a neglected granularity of analysis between the moment-by-moment unfolding of interaction and the longer term co-evolution of technology and practice. Implications of interaction as performance contribute to a wider program of interaction design, thereby providing alternatives to established human-computer interaction tenets: the notion of event is an alternative to the notion of task; perception in Dewey’s terms replaces recognition proposing expression as an alternative to accountability and usability. Implications include looking at how space can be configured and staged instead of measured or simulated, and how situations can be staged instead of sensed and recognised, privileging the sensing human over the sensing system.
Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
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