Category Archives: Interface Dictatorship

05 Mar

#EDCD en Medialab: “La interfaz es política, el diseño es subjetivo y el usuario lo ignora”

Este artículo contiene información sobre la conferencia que se dio en MediaLab Prado el día 5/3/2015 en el marco de las jornadas #EDCD (Encuentro de Diseño y Cultura Digital).

Enlace a la pagina de MediaLab Prado

Vídeo de la charla (enlace al video en la web de Medialab Prado)

Enlace a la web oficial de #EDCD

Aquí el podcast de Siglo21 de Radio3 donde Quelic Berga comenta sobre la interfaz a partir del minuto 37:


Apuntes y enlaces:

Crítica de la interfaz:

Pold Soren

Paper de Pold Soren sobre como afecta a condiciona a la escritura la metáfora de “oficina” usada en microsoft office y sus parecidos.


Considering your tools

Marshall McLuhan

Libro que analiza el impacto del medio por encima del mensaje.

George Lakoff & Mark Johnson

El libro “Metaphors We Live By” explica el poder de las metáforas.

Y aquí un ejemplo de una metáfora visual para organizar la información

Introducing Facebook Timeline

Metáforas de productividad són muy comunes en google, facebook y otras plataformas que siguen el mismo modelo.

Apple anunciando porque 1984 no sera como 1984

El Diseño es emocional y subjetivo

Donald Norman

Libro que explica la importancia de lo emocional en un buen diseño.

Hugo Roy -> Terms and conditions Didn’t Read

Plugin para Firefox para recibir información simplificada sobre los T&C de las webs visitadas.

Entrevista a Hugo Roy

Paper de Facebook sobre un experimento a 70000 usuarios

Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks

Y una notícia del pais sobre el tema:

Proyectos Artisticos:

Benjamin Grosser – Facebook Demetricator

Paper sobre el proyecto de Benjamin Grosser, Facebook Demetricator

Y vídeo explicativo del plugin

Que podemos hacer?

Apoyar iniciativas que respetan las libertades del usuario y la diversidad:

Usar herramientas y apoyar herramientas que sean más coherentes con nuestra visión cultural. Por ejemplo el buscador DuckDuckGo, similar a Google, pero que no guarda ningún dato tuyo:

La fundación Mozilla esta trabajando para crear proyectos mejores para todos y aquí su manifiesto:

Compartir nuestras dudas y visiones, aunque parezcan distintas de las de la mayoría puede que muchas personas piensen igual que tu en ciertos aspectos.

Bibliografía del proyecto

Puedes encontrar más en el menú de Bibliografía.

22 Sep

Art Matters Seminars Discusses the Idea of Interface

In the framework of PIPES BCN research, the 1st of July Hangar hosted an Art Matters Seminar focused on interfaces, the research issue of the project. In this occasion, besides of the usual attendees we had an special guest: Jorge Luís Marzo, exhibition curator, writer and lecturer at the Bau University School.

After the traditional presentation of the seminar and the attendees introduction, Jorge sugested that devices should turn into interfaces: there is a need that machines could socialize with each other and people, and added that now there is an independence of the (TV) screen, because screens are everywhere.

Regarding to this, other of the participants introduced the idea of relational spaces from social scientist and geographer Doreen Massey, to highlight the space where humans and not humans relate. Following this path, seminar leader Pau Alsina added that there is a relation between the material and the symbolic, and explained that the concept of infrastructure from Bruno Latour is very useful to attend this.

In fact, as Pau clarified, one of the seminar aims is to fight the perspective of researching things (as art, etc.) regardless of their ability of agency. Thinking about interface, some authors placed the software in the center of the analysis (Manovich, i.e). In a  similar way, the essay Interface Criticism: Aesthetic Beyond Buttons, Christian Ulrik Andersen and Soren Bor Pold (as editors) attempts to enter into the interface, thinking about it not just as a mere surface in which political and social conditioning bounce, but as a society articulator.

Another participant added that there is a need of artistic practices questioning these phenomena. The devices are sociability producers, a trigger for social behaviours, and STS studies can help to understand which are the processes through which this standards crystalize. The interface should not be explained but is the explanation, which conveys.

Some authors sharing this point of view are Mathew Fuller, crossing cultural studies with software studies, or Michel Callon, an engineer and sociologist. The actor-network theory and relational materialism are useful perspectives to understand the interface as a complex phenomena, given that they understand technosciencies as a net that includes both human and non-human entities, heeding to the associations between them.

A good example of the success of certain technologies from this approach is the coding language Processing. It has become so popular and used because it has been developed for artists to artists, and has opened a new field of accessible creativity that can be translated from the art field to the industry, and where creators, technologist, coders or scientists can converge.

Building a Manifesto

One of the goals of PIPES BCN is to write an Interface Manifesto. Talking about that, Jorge Luís Marzo said that images may not represent the reality but hide it (as happens in the film The Matrix). The texts are disappearing and being replaced by icons or images full of meaning (Twitter bird, for example, or F by Facebook).

Nowadays, societies live dazzled by the new gadgets and technological services provided by the industry, there’s a technophilic layer that can bring to technical nihilism. We enjoy the latests technologies, but where is the responsability? There can be pointed just one actor?

In the case of interface, what is important is not just the object, but the function of this object in a certain context. This is the argument that defends the article An Introduction to Interface Phenomenology from Josep M. Català. Interface translates more than mediates (mediate has a friendly connotation), and it only exists when there is a need for dialogue. Interfaces are part of our lives, and despite the wide variety of devices, they tend to the homogenization and standarization. Related to technology, there has always been a search for universal languages and standards. The screws are an example, as well as internet protocols.

In technology there’s no neutrality, although there certainly is an illusion of it. It’s stories are bounded to the idea of progress, and preconceptions of human being or ideas related to power are embodied in those objects and the practices they enable. When talking about interface, it seems to be a request coming from users: give me buttons. The designers or engineers of our washing machines, radios or computers seem to say: just press the button and we do the rest. Here are clearly a number of preconceptions that shows us that the dichotomy between active subject and passive object is completely obsolete.

25 Aug

Hugo Roy interview @ Mosaic magazine

As part of the collaboration between Hangar and UOC, Mosaic magazine, an online publication created on the framework of Multimedia Degree and Multimedia Apps Masters of UOC, has published an interview to Hugo Roy.

Mosaic focuses on the link between interaction, design, web, apps and videogames developing, and therefore is interested in the issues worked in PIPES.

Hugo Roy’s interview (in spanish) is related to its participation to the Interface Dictatorship Roundtable, and reflects on the terms and conditions of the services we use in internet.

21 Jun

Interface Dictatorship materials

As part of participation in the roundtable, speakers provided a range of materials to deepen the theme of the interface as a space of power. Then you can consult the presentations shown during the discussion and the texts written by the speakers for this occasion.

Mayo Fuster

Interface Dictatorship (Governance) – Presentation

Digital Interaction: Online Creation Communities – Text Read More

18 Jun

Interface Dictatorship: mesa redonda

Como parte de la investigación realizada en PIPES_BCN, el martes 27 de mayo se llevó a cabo en Hangar una mesa redonda que buscó indagar en una aproximación crítica sobre la idea de interfaz gráfica de usuario.

Teniendo en cuenta los focos de interés de la investigación, se invitó a participar a Mayo Fuster, Marga Padilla, Hugo Roy y Carlos Scolari, con la moderación de Andreu Belsunces.

Antes de iniciar el debate, Tere Badía, directora de Hangar, presentó el proyecto PIPES en el marco del centro, y explicó que es una de las semillas para crear proyectos de investigación transdisciplinarios, transuniversitarios –en este caso están involucrados UOC y BAU- y buscadamente problematizadores.

Tras esto, se introdujo la idea de interfaz como un espacio de poder, sobre la cual se dialogaría durante las dos siguientes horas. Read More

17 Apr

Interface dictatorship

Interfaces are increasingly becoming our mean to relate to reality. Interfaces are entrance points, contact surfaces and spaces of creation. They are designed, and therefore they are not neutral. Each interface, in fact, is a space of power and it involves preconceptions of human models.

There’s a subjacent ideology, with it’s ethical, political and aesthetic principles which are imposed to the user. This is done in many different ways, for example the use of icons and metaphors, the composition of the information, the choice of a color palette, or the navigation preferences. Taking this into account, we wonder if the interface may be considered as a dictatorship, and which is the space left for alternatives and dissidence. Read More


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