I found the reading for next class is really interesting, since it brings me a really different perspective to look at computer interface, although I may “feel” interface in the way Manovich described, it’s still refreshing and calling for my deeper thoughts when I read the texts.

Firstly, he described what he meant by cultural interface:

I will use the term cultural interface to describe a human-computer-culture interface- the ways in which computers present and allow us co interact with cultural data.

And then he stated his point about the relationship between cultural interface and traditional media forms, which are cinema and printed works in his statement:

…the language of cultural interfaces is largely made up from el- ements ofother, already familiar culmral forms.

He then talked about how information is represented in printed world like in books, and how cultural interface makes use of the book metaphor while making the “pages” more fluid and unstable, where the new media culture becomes an infinite flat surface with unordered individual information.

After that he talked about the linkage between cinema language and HCI, that computer users use the same way to interact with cultural data as the ways of seeing the world in cinema.

But he also pointed out that HCI plays a different role since users have a lot of controls through the parts of the interface, so the language of cultural interfaces is a hybrid of conventions of traditional forms and HCI.

And I really like one sentence from the last part of this chapter that:

It is one thing to use a computer to control weapons or analyze statistical data, it is another to use it co represent cultural memories, values, and experiences.

Notes above are my basic understandings about this chapter, after finishing reading it, I tried to look at computer with Manovich’s metaphors of printing and cinema. Computer for me is like a book I can never finish reading, it represents information and gives me the control of which information I want to look at. At the same time, I also write new information into it, which will become the content somebody will read. Similarly, computer can also act like lens, and I can control which part of the content I would like to view with my actions being part of what is in the others’ lens. Why computer is powerful is partly because of the infinite information it can represent and partly because of the infinite controls held in infinite users. And these two parts are connected, it’s we as users rather than the book authors or the film makers who generate the content. We together write a “book”, make a “film” and create whatever the new media will result in and meanwhile we consume it.

The logic here is kind of blur… but that’s what I thought while reading this chapter.

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