Exploring forms and norms – “Terminal” installation at the Sackler Gallery, DC

One of the things I sometimes consider on this blog is how design and interactive art can help us to explore our relationships to technology and how we see the world. “Exploring forms and norms” is an occasional series of posts on this topic.

By now the phrase “we’re all connected” has become almost synonymous with network maps showing the links between different people or nodes. Whether the maps show who interacts with whom within an organisation or which scientists around the world collaborate together, network diagrams start to add a systems perspective to our own interactions.

However, one thing these network maps don’t really describe is the consequence of all this connection – the sometimes subtle cause and effects of our inter-relatedness. If that department over there is closed down or these two friends of friends meet, then so what for me – or anyone else in the system?

The ultimate link fest! Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chanceprojects/4388266976/

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Exploring forms and norms – Lanterns in the Noguchi museum, NYC

One of the things I sometimes consider on this blog is how design and interactive art can help us to explore our relationships to technology and how we see the world. “Exploring forms and norms” is an occasional series of posts on this topic.

A few months ago I visited the Noguchi museum in NYC where a wonderful exhibition using paper lanterns prompted me to consider the sensory expectations that different forms can create and how playing with form and the absence of form can help us to think through what we notice and what we take for granted in our interactions.

Lanterns and spaces – Noguchi museum, NYC.
Image credit: author’s own

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Exploring forms and norms – technological innovation and identity at the Hirschhorn museum, DC

One of the things I sometimes consider on this blog is how design and interactive art can help us to explore our relationships to technology and how we see the world. “Exploring forms and norms” is an occasional series of posts on this topic.

I’m making a habit of spending Thanksgiving (mostly) away from my laptop and out exploring art. This year, I went along to the Hirschhorn modern art museum where I enjoyed the new “What absence is made of” exhibition – a series of pieces exploring themes including identity, loss and the impact of technology.

Colourless leaf litter?
Image credit: author’s own

My favourite piece was an interactive exhibit by Ann Hamilton called “at hand” where a machine drops a single sheet of blank paper from the ceiling at random intervals. The paper floats to the floor, joining a growing pile of sheets, resulting in an empty autumnal scene devoid of colour. Continue reading