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Hardcover | $30.00 X | £24.95 | 240 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 39 b&w photos | May 2018 | ISBN: 9780262037945
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The Metainterface

The Art of Platforms, Cities, and Clouds

Overview

The computer interface is both omnipresent and invisible, at once embedded in everyday objects and characterized by hidden exchanges of information between objects. The interface has moved from office into culture, with devices, apps, the cloud, and data streams as new cultural platforms. In The Metainterface, Christian Ulrik Andersen and Søren Bro Pold examine the relationships between art and interfaces, tracing the interface’s disruption of everyday cultural practices. They present a new interface paradigm of cloud services, smartphones, and data capture, and examine how particular art forms—including net art, software art, and electronic literature—seek to reflect and explore this paradigm.

Andersen and Pold argue that despite attempts to make the interface disappear into smooth access and smart interaction, it gradually resurfaces; there is a metainterface to the displaced interface. Art can help us see this; the interface can be an important outlet for aesthetic critique. Andersen and Pold describe the “semantic capitalism” of a metainterface industry that captures user behavior; the metainterface industry’s disruption of everyday urban life, changing how the city is read, inhabited, and organized; the ways that the material displacement of the cloud affects the experience of the interface; and the potential of designing with an awareness of the language and grammar of interfaces.

About the Authors

Christian Ulrik Andersen is Associate Professor in Digital Design at Aarhus University and works with aesthetics, software, and interface criticism.

Søren Bro Pold is Associate Professor in Digital Design at Aarhus University and works with interface criticism, literature, and aesthetics.