Archeology and the Interface

I attended the Interface Critique conference at UdK Berlin back in November where Keynote Speaker Olia Lialina gave a presentation entitled ‘Rich User Experience’. Olia presented a range of examples from her archaeology of new media work and displayed them to think about what interfaces provoke and afford. These displays served to prove how naturalised some of our experiences of interfaces have become, what is implicated in their use and what are the political underpinnings of so-called ‘experience design’.  Olia is a promoter of ‘user rights’ that might lead towards making visible and explicit when persons happen to be interacting with machines. She advocates too that users should be able to always ‘log out’. On the other hand, she is a detractor of the pervasive disappearance of ‘undo’ functions within interfaces.

Her presentation was also a way of thinking about how to archive and do archeology with digital materials from a methodological perspective as well as how to present these materials in order to front-stage the invisible effects of interfaces.

Check out Olia Lialina’s work here, and her most recent engagement with the archeology of new media in relation to geocities personal webpages here.