“From Digital Interface to Material Artifact” presented by Gwilt


Session Title:

  • Transforming Media

Presentation Title:

  • From Digital Interface to Material Artifact




  • In previous works I have discussed how the image of the graphical user interface (GUI) has been appropriated as a referent for a creative practice beyond the screen, materialized as two-dimensional print and painted images. In this paper I will explore instances where the GUI has been referenced in the creation of three-dimensional physical artifacts and performative three-dimensional spaces. An examination of selected works will give us the opportunity to look critically at the evolution of the computer desktop metaphor and its appropriation back into object based artifacts and to unpacking some of the theoretical implications implicit in these shifts in representation.

    The selected works examined in the paper originate from a group of international artists who have been repositioning the use of the computer GUI within the realm of creative practice. These creative recontextualisations allow us to problematise our engagement with digital technology. Allowing us to question our experience of the GUI in terms of a personal, and broader communal context. As well as intimating the pivotal place that computer technologies have taken in our everyday social, cultural and increasingly our creative realms. The transformation from digital computer icon to material artifact engenders the potential of the computer GUI to become a precious, rarefied object, which commands value and prestige.

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