so many questions, so little time

Day 2: This morning we were introduced to a few different visual programming environments and their capabilities (all new to me). I always find programming languages a bit daunting, and never seem to gain more than a basic understanding of what’s going on. It seems unlikely that I’ll acquire adequate knowledge in any of the programs in a few days to be able to create a functioning piece. But maybe I can scrape together something that explores some element of my ideas.

Another aspect I was struggling with today was what sort of outcome is expected. How will the touchscreens be used within the Wilberforce centre? Should I try to develop an interesting way of interacting with the technology, that can be adapted to deliver information. Or are the touchscreen pieces being used as works of art in themselves. Maybe the idea is more about pushing the technology and trying to make using the screens more tactile and rewarding. Should I focus on trying to challenge my assumptions of touchscreen interactions. I hate to admit it but I have a tendency to think about things in a very literal way, and it’s at times like these that I lament not having a Fine Art grounding to help me break free of this habit.

The idea I was playing with today was going down the root of  touchscreens as a delivery device for NHS information. But trying to present the information in more engaging way. I was inspired by Silke Hilsing’s Data Scale. I liked the way when the clear plate was moved over, and placed on, a word the surrounding words would scatter and leave the choosen word trapped under glass. It reminded me of catching a spider under a tumbler. Then I started thinking about information as being something we try to pin down, examine and pursue. And that before we go through our processes of learning and understanding, what we don’t know, still exist in the world as an ethereal, changing thing, almost with a life of its own. So I thought of having objects on screen that would have different animal behavior ascribed to them depending on the type of information they contained. They would also react differently to an approaching finger and maybe require different methods of capture. But once captured you could dig into them and they would reveal their knowledge.

I was quite happy with the idea but after this afternoon’s presentations and the talks they sparked. I’m starting to feel that I should approach things from a different angle. I feel quite lost at the moment. I’m hoping that by the end of tomorrow’s talk from Peter Eyres and our visit to Wilberforce Health Centre site I’ll have a better understand of how I should continue.

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