IN HIS 1997 BOOK INTERFACE CULTURE.IN HIS 1997 BOOK INTERFACE CULTURE, Steven Johnson suggests that the interface, the structure that allows us to make "sense of information in its raw form," is no longer the arcane ar·cane
Known or understood by only a few: arcane economic theories. See Synonyms at mysterious.
[Latin arc domain of HCI (Human Computer Interaction) Refers to the design and implementation of computer systems that people interact with. It includes desktop systems as well as embedded systems in all kinds of devices. (human-computer interaction Human-computer interaction
An interdisciplinary field focused on the interactions between human users and computer systems, including the user interface and the underlying processes which produce the interactions. ) specialists, but has become a dominant cultural paradigm. And "information in its raw form"--the engine of twenty-first-century culture, if you will--is a database. As media theorist Lev lev-,
pref See levo-. Manovich writes, "following art historian Erwin Panofsky's analysis of linear perspective as a symbolic form' of the modern age, we may even call database a new symbolic form of a computer age ... a new way to structure our experience of ourselves and of the world."
Antecedents of what artist Victoria Vesna calls "database aesthetics" range from Roy Ascott's Wagnerian concept of the Gesamtdatenwerk to my personal favorite, Leo Leo, in astronomy
Leo [Lat.,=the lion], northern constellation lying S of Ursa Major and on the ecliptic (apparent path of the sun through the heavens) between Cancer and Virgo; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Steinberg's identification of a shift ca. 1950 from a vertical, perspectival orientation in painting to the matrix structure of the "flatbed picture plane"-"any receptor surface on which objects are scattered, on which data is entered, on which information may be received, printed, impressed." Steinberg was describing the innovations of Rauschenberg and Dubuffet, but his formulation applies equally to current practice. The database is the plumbing of interface, and many artists are working with its structures to transform what Hal Foster This article is about the comic strip artist. For the art critic and Princeton professor, see Hal Foster (art critic).
Harold ("Hal") Rudolf Foster (August 18, 1892 in Halifax, Nova Scotia – July 25, 1982) was a Canadian-American cartoonist most famous has referred to as "a repository of the given" into compelling experiences that may even approach knowledge with a point of view, if not wisdom.
Steve Dietz is director of New Media Initiatives at the walker Art Center, Minneapolis.