Tag Archives: skeuomorph

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The Economist explains: What is skeuomorphism?

The Economist explains: What is skeuomorphism?
The Economist explains: What is skeuomorphism?

The Economist features my work on skeuomorphism today: the article is here.

Following the BBC’s article a couple of weeks ago, it’s good to see another substantial and critical mainstream analysis. I’m flattered that The Economist features my work so heavily, and even links to my last paper on the topic. Nonetheless, the debate still has to break away from the superficial before any real progress can be made. As the article notes, Apple’s new iOS7 aims “to ditch this sort of thing [skeuomorphism] in favour of an approach that arises more directly from the capabilities of hardware and software” – yet that’s exactly the point at which one could expect to see true skeuomorphs emerging.

What Apple are really ditching is a human design choice: the use of verisimilitude as a point of affordance. What they’re most definitely not ditching, or even demonstrating any awareness of, is the long-term interplay of obsolescence and cultural mimicry that drives technological evolution.

 

 

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BBC News – What is skeuomorphism?

BBC News Magazine - What is skeuomorphism?
BBC News Magazine – What is skeuomorphism?

I spoke to BBC News Magazine about skeuomorphism: the article’s here. It’s quite a nice overview, and at least avoids Techcrunch’s current conclusion that the opposite of skeuomorph = ‘flat’.

If you’re interested in the more scholarly side of skeuomorphism, I’ve put an open access version of the paper I wrote for the Cologne Institute of Advanced Studies journal ‘Morphomata’ here: “Skeuomorphology and Quotation”.

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Interview with Imperica

Dan O'Hara Imperica
Dan O’Hara at the Virtual Futures salon, TROVE Birmingham, 24.10.12

There’s a lengthy and admittedly dense interview with me on Imperica today, covering the recent J. G. Ballard interviews volume I edited with Simon Sellars, Extreme Metaphors; the new edition of the 1995 glitchcyberpunkphilosophy classic Cyberpositive; and the dismally dim commercial colonialization of the virtual that is currently trading under the moniker ‘new aesthetic’.

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Interview on Skeuomorphism with The Machine Starts

The Machine Starts
The Machine Starts – How We Started Calling Visual Metaphors “Skeuomorphs” and Why the Debate over Apple’s Interface Design is a Mess

Earlier this month I spoke several times with Chris Baraniuk about the febrile skeuomorphosis currently smearing itself across the internet. UI designers seem particularly immunodeficient as disease vectors in this regard, and present a clear viro-semantic danger to the 99.9% of language users who are not UI designers. Chris has now published the results of his research on The Machine Starts:

How We Started Calling Visual Metaphors ‘Skeuomorphs’ and Why the Debate over Apple’s Interface Design is a Mess

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Recent talks: NEXT Berlin, TED, Science Museum

I’ve given a few talks on skeuomorphism recently which aren’t yet available on video, as far as I’m aware: one on “Emergent Design: How the Skeuomorph helps us to think about Non-Human Agency”, at NEXT Berlin 2012 on the 8th May; and another at TEDx Manchester on “Skeuomorphs, evolution, and technology”, on the 13th February. The video of the talk I gave back in December at the Science Museum is up, though. The hirsuteness is the result of trailing around South America for several months; I didn’t actually get a haircut or a shave until I got to Paraguay two months later. I think it used to be known as ‘going native’:

 

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Interviews & talks: video and audio

This year’s Virtual Futures 2.0’11 conference was astonishingly productive, and the results of the new ideas discussed and new collaborations formed are still reverberating around the net, the media and the conference circuit. Hopefully I’ll be able to speak about some of those results in the near future; in the meantime, much of the conference is now available on video.

My opening lecture at VF is below:

Shortly before the conference, Amy McLeod from the Warwick Knowledge Centre interviewed me, mainly about skeuomorphs (the topic of the book I’m writing at present): the podcast of that interview is available here.

There was a lot more talk of skeuomorphs in my live chat, ‘Understanding the Virtual’, following the conference; you can read a somewhat truncated and edited-down transcript here. The actual event was invaded and eventually DoSed by 4chan, the guys who hacked Sarah Palin’s emails… it was quite an honour to get 4channed, but the real transcript is unprintable.

Rhizome.org picked up on the skeuomorph meme and published another version: Dan O’Hara on Skeuomorphs, JG Ballard, Transhumanism, and the “eradication of individual identity.

And archive video from the 1995 Virtual Futures conference is steadily being digitized and placed on the VF Vimeo channel: below is an interview conducted with me recently, which includes a large chunk of the archive footage of Stelarc’s legendary 1995 performance, in which I’m bobbing around in the background with an orange mohican, trying to fix the sound levels, whilst Stelarc waves his third arm about menacingly…

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Virtual Futures 2.0’11 programme

Virtual Futures 2.0’11

The speakers list and programme for Virtual Futures 2.0’11, to be held at Warwick University on the 18th and 19th of June, have been released. I’ll be there giving the opening plenary, talking about “Non-Human Agencies: A Skeuomorphological Account”.

It’s a great line-up: Stelarc returns, as do Rachel Armstrong, Ian Stewart, Jim Flint, Mark Fisher, Diane Gromala, Sue Thomas, Pat Cadigan, Richard Barbrook, Nick Fox, Martyn Amos, and o(rphan)d(rift>); plus Kevin Warwick, Sue Golding, Andy Miah, Alan Chalmers, Steve Fuller, Jeremy Wyatt… No Hakim Bey this time, though. Registration is now live.

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Skeuomorphology

Morphomata ‘Creativity of Finding’ Conference

The programme is now available for the Morphomata symposium, ‘Creativity of Finding: Figurations of the Quotation’. It runs from the 3 – 5 November 2010 at the University of Cologne. I’ll be speaking on Friday the 5th about “Skeuomorphology and the Evolution of Literary Quotation”.