Sunday, February 7, 2010

Windows and Mirrors

Windows and Mirrors puts the essence of visible computers within our environment. The authors consider computer as very crucial appliance but not a mere vacuum cleaner that is taking over other media such as television, radio and film. The world of computers is viewed to be very important for both designers and artists since it helps introduce new genres and forms. They emphasizes on the essence of digital art to various occupations such as graphic arts, web designers, interface designers, experts in HCI, and education technologists amongst others who have interest in digital revolution. The World Wide Web took a new look in 1990s. The content of the WWW were integrated introducing new experience to the users. Several skills were included in shaping the web. It was believed that the interplay of images and words was possible in communication. The authors consider digital design as a means of transparency by integrating several techniques and as means of communication through interactive experience. They use metaphors in putting forth their ideas. Window is used to portray an eye to the world. There is also the belief of using numbers in presenting the world. They use the art gallery SIGGRAPH 2000 in giving light to the metaphors in their book. They consider digital artists as having potentialities which could be of help to designers. They argue on the basis of moving from interface to another world of interaction. Windows were introduced as a graphical user interface. The digital world is pronounced by interaction replacing interface. The issue of wireless computing shows the dissolving of IRL and cyberspace. Digital is not an invasion to the world; Cyberspace is the one which has been invaded by the world. The authors focus on computing design by considering the works of several structural designers. These include; David Siegel and Jakob Nielson. The book also refers to structurists such as Marc Andreesen who maximizes on mathematical ideas in designing. Experiences are provided by the designers who are on the alert in meeting the needs of the world and the web is considered to be transparent in distributing information. However, Interface is considered to be weak in portraying transparent since they frame experiences. This argument has prompted the revelation of the web. The operation of system is believed to be masked through interface. Restoring lost data in this case becomes impossible since the operations of the system are masked. Digital arts have several benefits. Digital art does not allow looking through the surface but working directly to the surface. Transparency is portrayed through the reflective mirror. They authors relate digital arts to myths. They pick the myths of disembodied cyberspace. They lay emphasize on interactive system. Some of these include; augmented reality and biofeedback systems. They are after system that interacts well with their environments. Over all, the book gives an overview of how the computers became media. I believe that the book is very crucial since it talks about some concepts left hanging by theorists. It acts as the basis for design and it carries important messages for software developer and digital art.


  1. Hi, Mai,

    I like your points. Digital art is a tendency today. It is a new media we ever seen before, but now it is very common. Digital art occupy our life, we can see 3D movies on theater, take digital photo to record our life, and play 3D video games. People all get used of this life style.

    New media not only brings us a new vision but also changes our life. People rely on new media very much, and ignore old media. We can read news immediacy by the interent, so we forget to read newspaper. We can communicate by the internet, so we do not write letter anymore. Because of new media, we ignore the importance of literature. We want to get any information very fast, but don't care about the sources, authenticity, and formalization.

    Also, when we type or text, we are used to use easy words or cut some letters to save time. When we enjoy new media, in the same time we should take more attention to what problems behind it.

  2. Mai,

    The point you raised about "Windows and Mirrors" focusing on the essense of digital media, with an emphasis on digital occupations was signficant to mention. This book was published in 2003, and even then they were acknowledging and realizing the importance of the interface and its design, as well as practical application.

    Imagine how many jobs have been generated with the growth of graphics on televsion, and web design for businesses. Also, the importance of the design can be seen with the different versions of Mac and Windows and the different operating systems they have put out in recent time.

    -Jessica Vanacore

  3. I'm interested in your thoughts and responses to what the authors have to say.