Thursday, September 6, 2007

Norman White on Mistakeology

Over at we make money not art, there's a piece covering Norm White, where he says:
Every technology has its mistakes and accidents already built in. This insight is not new, but it is still consistently ignored in an approach to technology that demands it to be controllable and safe, functional and useful. Technical dysfunctionality is 'repressed' by modern society, in a Freudian sense. Functional discrepancies between people and machines are called 'human failures' even in cases in which the technology is making impossible demands on its human user. Machines and their mistakes are thus an inexhaustible source of humour and parody. [1]
It is the chaos that is created by the unknown that creates the most interesting patterns.

I had the good fortune of listen to Norm speak at MICA, and one powerful statement has stuck with me: "I like to make things that rust." He meant that despite being an interactive artist that works with computers, he prefers if they have a physical, non-screen based component.

I think that one statement caused me to stop wanting to work on the screen, and turn away from early aspirations of being a web designer.

1 Norman White on Mistakeology. http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/007988.php Visited 9-06-07.

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