Category Archives: Past

Messages and Means: Muriel Cooper at MIT

Muriel Cooper (1925-1994) was my advisor when I was a graduate student at her Visible Language Workshop at the MIT Media Lab. It was an experience that profoundly influenced the way I work and approach the the world. It’s not easy to describe, so instead these these quotes of hers may start to give a sense… Read More

Is Low-Res the new Black?

Somehow, I’ve ended up with a handful of browser-based links — a mix of retro, low-res, and stuff that made me say “I didn’t know that you could do that.” Google BBS Terminal is what Google would have looked like if it existed in the 80s.  PCE.js is a Mac Plus emulator running Mac OS… Read More

Goodbye Minitel

Sorry for not posting lately, I’ve been surprisingly busy. I’m off to Paris for the long Thanksgiving weekend – and just remembered an old post I had started on France’s Minitel. I’ll include it here. If anyone has any suggestions of interesting interactive work I should check out while in Paris, drop me a note…. Read More

Digital Archaeology

Sometimes it takes me a while to get through my old bookmarks. And sometimes I discover something unexpected and comforting. Case in point was Eye Magazine’s post The Past is a Foreign Domain about Digital Archaeology — an exhibition and collection of videos about some of the early breakthrough moments in web design. The show… Read More

Do You Want Google Goggles?

Google Project Glass got a lot of buzz a couple months ago when it was first announced. The idea of real-life augmentation built into a pair of glasses showed some really interesting potential uses. But it also highlighted general fears that augmented reality could remove it’s users from really engaging in the world — instead… Read More


Dont’t bother reading this post. Just head over to Artport and take a look around. “Artport is the Whitney Museum’s portal to Internet art and an online gallery space for commissions of net art and new media art. Originally launched in 2002, Artport provides access to original art works commissioned specifically for artport by the… Read More

Xerox Star

At one of my first summer college internships, back in the 80’s, I briefly used a Xerox Dorado workstation. It’s a pretty fuzzy memory, but the things that made the biggest impression on me were the machine’s large bitmapped window display, and the mouse that I used to create the flowcharts I needed. Using it… Read More

Reducing Pain with SnowWorld

One of my favorite pieces at the Cooper Hewitt 2006 National Design Triennial was ”SnowWorld.” It was beautiful, absorbing, and other-worldly. The basic concept and execution are pretty simple… Wearing VR goggles, you fly through a snowy landscape and throw snowballs at woolly mammoths and penguins, while listening to Paul Simon’s “Graceland.” But the purpose… Read More

Crazy UIs

Generated Crazy I started the day reading a fascinating article on generative interfaces, “Can Algorithms Help Design the Ultimate Gestural Interface?” At first I thought it was about generating, algorithmically, user interfaces — something I’d love to see. What would a UI that was designed by a computer be like?! (I searched, but closest to… Read More

Jim Campbell’s Reactive Works

Back in 1997 Art Center‘s Williamson Gallery housed the exhibition “Memory, Reflection and Transformation, Reactive Works by Jim Campbell.” I was teaching there at the time and remember first seeing the show as I took a break from one of my classes. Walking through the gallery was a playful and social experience, as visitors together… Read More

Underworld’s DVD-ROM

In the late 90’s, Underworld was super-popular among my graphic design and new media friends. It wasn’t just Underworld’s music, it was the way they used visual design and motion graphics as part of their brand, and as a central element in their live performances. They weren’t just music – they were media! And it… Read More


Last week Microsoft demoed Surface 2, the new version of their Surface table. It has some pretty cool features, particularly a technology they call PixelSense, which lets the table visually recognize and scan almost any object placed on it without using cameras. Interactive Things pointed out the similarity to Starfire — a fascinating project I’d… Read More