“Mud Muses: A Rant About Technology”
              Frida Sandström
              “If I don’t find what I want on the first page, I’ll usually just give up,” stated the American interface designer Aza Raskin in 2006. He later came to be known as the inventor of the infinite scroll—for which he recently publicly announced his regret. While Raskin’s interface dominates most digital media today, The Otolith Group’s Anathema (2011) brings us back to a distant time in the mid-2000s when the first iPhones hit the market. In an abstract montage of moving images from early YouTube, advertisement for touchscreen devices blend in pixelated abstraction, enabling a sublime imaginary of something beyond the responsive screens that we depend on. Much earlier, in the late 1970s and early ’80s, Swedish artist Charlotte Johannesson transferred weaving to the few pixels of Apple’s first home computers. This was before conventional printers, so Johannesson had to hack large-format architecture printers to get her colorful abstractions on paper. The transition of ideas through matter has always been central to aesthetics. Ursula K. Le Guin has written that “technology is the active human interface with the material world”—it is the materialization of an interface that manifests each time we touch a screen, a stone, or each other. At …

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