Saturday, February 6, 2010

My Reflections on Reading "Windows and Mirrors"

After reading "Windows and Mirrors Interaction Design, Digital Art, and the Myth of Transparency," by Jay David Bolter and Diane Gromola, it became clear to me that over the years, the computer has become more than just a household appliance such as the microwave or blender. It is a very interactive tool in our daily lives, especially with the introduction of the world wide web in the early 1990's. Some people are almost getting their self worth and identity from their relationship with their computer. It has become an extension of ourselves, especially with the social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Now, instead of experiencing real life situations, the new generation of children are looking at life through virtual reality. For example, my nine year old goes to the internet each day to take care of her "Webkins" which are virtual stuffed animals, and she can interact with other children on that site. My four year old has set up a virtual friends on the "Wii," and competes with them. Finally, the authors examined works of digital art form the Art Gallery at SIGGRAPH. This was a fascinating aspect of the book, as it made me wonder are we looking at art or virtual reality, and was Neil Postman correct in his studies, "Are we just amusing ourselves to death?"


  1. Is it art or entertainment? I'd like to see you address some more of the specifics of the book.

  2. Is it art or entertainment? Art by its very nature is entertainment. No artist is an island creating for him or herself only,but art is created for the enjoyment of others. I am left thinking of the chapter in T-Garden or the Wooden Mirror.Where it is a responsive environment, where the interaction is the art itself. That is my interpretation. I work in a local hospital where we have an interactive water treatment in our children's lobby. It is similar to what the authors describe in the T-Garden or the Wooden Mirror, as it works on your movement. As you approach the water treatment, the lights change colors and movement reflects yours. As stated in the T-Garden chapter,"visitors are participants whose embodied presence brings the space to life"...(pg117). I have never seen visitors or children remark on the waterfall as a piece of art,which caters to many senses...seeing the flashing of the lights, hearing the pouring of water, feeling the mist on your face as you stand close. They "enter a world of pure mind" as with the T-Garden. Therfore , I feel that art is entertainment.