What are the boundaries of interfaces for our digital lives? Our fingers? How can the gestures we use to interact with our devices extend to create new sorts of interaction rituals and interactive experiences that go beyond the digit interface? From simple switches found in old trucks, to the 19 tactile buttons on the guidance computer that took a few men from the earth to the moon, to the current fascination with a different form of tactile “touch” interface, to finger gestures for sign-language interactions to the early experiments with pre-Wii gesture interface — how we interact is all caught up in the interface between intent and action that is very much wound up in the same desire for connection as Michelangelo’s imagination rendered on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
I’m interested in how this interface can be changed to create a new idiom for connected digital lives that are more playful and less burdensome. How can the core elements of the interface syntax be stretched and reformed into a new style and meaning for computation that reflects upon the fact that were beings who live in space and time and sometimes enjoy the friction of social engagement? Can there be a kind of interaction where time actually counts? Where it is not instantaneous email download style time? What happens when the gesture is consumed by time — so that one gesture “unit” extends over an period of several minutes or even hours? What about space? Can there be a way that digital experiences are not about conquering space and diminishing it to a blink of packet switched gigabyte optical fiber speeds? Sometimes covering ground is a good thing, and doing so at a human pace can be a welcome reminder of our physical selves. Suppose that hike counted for something in a different model of computing? Or passing by a familiar landmark — a street corner or pedestrian overpass — is like the gesture of moving a game piece in a video game?