Combining the readings from Crawford and Victor with the in-class exercise to create a fantasy device, I see interactivity as a much more primal concept than I had before. I guess I had been identifying interaction with the digital age and disregarding how basic interaction can be.
With Crawford’s definition that interaction is a conversation, it helps to show that interaction not only needs two actors for the speaking and listening, but it also requires the time to process what each person is contributing. This makes me wonder how we, as producers can control the result of a user’s interaction. Each time someone interacts with a device, person, etc, it leaves some unpredictability. Overall, Crawford’s definition highlights the importance of interaction for people to grow individually and expand ideas.
Along with this idea, this is what happened during class while creating fantasy devices. In many cases, it seemed that initial ideas evolved after groups came together and expanded the idea to make sense for their individual vision. Having the devices be as unfeasible as possible opened up the possibility to create something they might have not even thought about before the class. I think that alone shows how powerful interaction is–not only were we as humans interacting with our groups to expand our ideas to eventually settle on one, we were also interacting with the materials, and having the materials interact with each other.
However, the idea that we were interacting with the junk materials goes against Crawford’s definition of interaction, as it would be impossible for a piece of paper to converse with metal to say, “Hey, this isn’t working”. Yet, working with the materials in hand allowed me to understand how the idea would come together, which I think goes along with Victor’s rant: the importance of our hands.
Hands are such a basic tool, I for one often take for granted. It’s true we always touch screens and pushing buttons, but what are really interacting with? Similar to knowing when a conversation is good, we also can understand when something feels strange or good just with our hands. Victor shows that most of the physical, digital interaction we have today doesn’t return a physical reaction, which is an important part of the “conversation”.
In thinking about digital technology and interactivity, I would say that most apps we use to talk today, especially across the globe are not interactive.