“Delusions of Dialogue: Control and Choice in Interactive Art” by Jim Campbell

This article by Jim Campbell is a document about interface and control in an interactive art piece. The core of his article is the statement he makes, saying that “the program has three main functions: (1) to interpret the sensory input devices (the mouse, the keyboard, the microphone, etc.); (2) to control the memory (what to store, what not to store and what to retrieve); and (3) to select and control a response based on the interpretation of the sensory devices and the memories.” He goes into depth about each of these three pieces of an interactive program.

The most powerful message in this article, at least for me and my work, is when he talks about designing the sensory input to be hidden, in a sense. He states that when designing an interface, one must not make the focus on the physical devices (unless of course, that is the intent of the piece) but rather focus on the changes cause by the physical device. This has caused me to reconsider how I design experiences for individuals. For example, I should not focus on the button itself, but rather focus on focusing the viewers attention to the experience caused by the button. Also, it brings to rise the issue of removing a linear cause and effect from the button. In other words, making it so the experience isn’t simply an on and off interaction, but a gradated reaction that mystifies the interface. This article, I believe, is a must read for anyone working with experiential art, or even those simply in the design industry, as it address the important points of human interaction.


About Connors Eilersen

I am a graduate (BFA) of Ryerson University, and I like to make things, design things, and think things.
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