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When Artist Meets Technologist: Rhizome’s Seven On Seven

These projects may prove to be some early indicators of where the latest technical ideas will evolve.

Lisa Baldini
Lisa Baldini on May 23, 2011.

Emily Roydson and Etsy’s Kellan Elliott-McCrea

The path to a good idea is as much calculated as it is something born from happenstance. Often, it takes the combination of the right skill set, an openness to collaboration, and personalities (from different fields) to think across disciplines. Rhizome’s Seven on Seven is founded upon these principles. Pairing creative technologists with artists — often those who have never meet each other — their task is to create something within a 24 hour period.

This is the second incarnation of the series, and while last year, data and social media enabling projects rose to the top – this year’s group seemed to be divided between themes that reconfigure historical narrative to play with interface designs all in the name of play. We highlight “play” because it’s in this play, this interplay, between two people do the designs and concepts of these projects come to life.

Rhizome’s 7 on 7 Presented by AOL Collaboration Day at AOL Offices May 13, 2011 from RhizomeAOL7on7 on Vimeo.

Case in point, is Christopher “Moot” Poole and Ricardo “Mr. Doob” Cabello’s http://behind.de that rethinks the way the commenting appears on in an interface. Allowing for an invisible scrim to overlay onto a website, this new interface design has the potential to reconfigure not only how we standardize designs of websites, but the interplay between the importance of the user’s comment and its interaction with the content itself.

This interface question is explored further through the physical computing applications of Camille Utterback and Erica Sadun on an iPad 2. Increasing speed of the user interface’s delivery has become a normative technique in computer engineering. However, Utterback and Sadun have developed an application that allows for slowness to be equally rewarding for the user.

In so doing, these types of technologies have the potential re-write the histories of the technology. This point is not lost when we consider historical revisionism when we think about the re-introduction of previous (older) technologies into present times (see the resurgence of the electric car), and this is precisely where Emily Roydson and Kellan Elliot-McCrea take us there, with a voting site that enables users to bring back and introduce previous technologies into the present, asking what would that do for the future?

And while, it’s hard to think we could really re-introduce a Zeppelin or goddess worship back into society, innovation is born from the past as much as future.

Rhizome’s Seven on Seven Presented by AOL

TOPICS: Arts & Culture, Web & Technology
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Lisa Baldini

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Lisa Baldini is a regular contributor to PSFK.com. As a student of Graham Harwood, Luciana Parisi, and Matthew Fuller, Lisa's interest in technology lies in how culture is changed from the bottom up through history, materiality, databases, user experience, and affective computing. A student of social media marketing, she sees how people try to engage consumers through technology and how much failure is at hand by misunderstanding the medium. A teacher at heart, she writes and curates in an effort to link the knowledge derived between the academic, art, and business worlds.

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