Poetic deconstruction of the interface. 3 Workshops on interface policies

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Poetic deconstruction of the interface. 3 Workshops on interface policies: to reveal, to, deconstruct, to re-articulate

Power in the digital age means making things easy.” Franco Berardi.

OK, yeah, I like, Okay, I agree. Seduction or dictatorship? How many times a day we accept, without negotiating, the everyday demands inscribed in the design of user interfaces? What rhetoric hides the apparent neutrality of its design? What values represent? What about the data we generate through an interface? Which impact does its materiality have in the physical world? How does it transform and encode the social and intimate sphere? This workshop seeks to analyze, disclose and connect the complex network of agents converged on the interface configuration.

Most of our daily transactions are mediated by an interface. The design of any object reflects social values ​​and interests which respond to a particular ideology, that of the human group that created it and its social context. A system is designed with the intention to control each and every one of the processes which affect it to achieve the desired output, therefore, any proposed interaction of the interface is prescribed in advance. Thus, when we interact with our environment through an entity programmed by another we act mostly following the parameters dictated by the latter. So how does he transform us and encode the interface? Unable to fully control our actions when we act by means of an electronic device, can we be fully aware of the actual effects of our intervention in the world? In this scenario, it becomes to analyze and understand the material and immaterial construction of the interface. To create spaces for thought and reflection in order to open up the possibility of a critical space is an essential exercise.

In these workshops we will redesign the graphical interfaces of platforms as used as Gmail, Facebook, Google or Amazon. The function of a graphical interface is to enable communication between the user and the program, therefore, the interface acts as a filter that leads us to carry out or not certain actions. During the conference we will analyze the values registered in the design of the user interface of these large platforms. What can we do and what not? In the process of design of any system certain values are privileged and others are marginalized, therefore, the choice of these values gives us many clues to understand what are the real interests hidden behind the system and what is the desired output derived from our participation in this.

Through a series of actions we will deconstruct and re-design the appearance of graphical interfaces most widely used in digital platforms. We will identify our values and more immediate needs to transfer and articulate them into the design of these applications. The main objective of this workshop is, therefore, to stimulate and re-appropriate one’s own subjectivity, an essential process to generate critical thinking about the current configuration of technology and to imagine techno-economic paradigms that are more consistent with our human and our environment condition.

*These workshops are an initiative under the Manifesto for a critical approach to the interface and the results will be presented in the 1st International Conference “Policies interface.”

The workshops are complementary and it is encouraged to attend to the three of them, but they can be also attended independently.

Price 3 workshops – 30€ / 1 workshop -15€

Inscriptions fill out the registration form at the end of this entry

Workshop 1: Friday 26th of February from 17h to 21h and Saturday 27th from 10h to 14 and from 16h to 20h.
Workshop 2: Friday 4th of March from 17h a 21h and Saturday 5th, from 10h to 14 and from 16h to 20h
Workshop 3: Friday 11th of March from 17h a 21h and Saturday 12th from 10h to 14 and from 16h to 20h

Workshop 1 REVEAL / Interface Materiality (12h)
Friday 26th of February from 17h to 21h , also Saturday 27th from 10h to 14 and from 16h to 20h

Theoretical part:

Information physical transit, cables, servers, data centers, suppliers, etc.

The physical boundaries of information, the Internet geopolitics.

The materiality of information and its impact on the environment.

Commodification of information, review of the leading companies in commercialization of data and analysis of their role in coding the user’s identity and behavior.

Internet and privacy. Why is it important to protect our privacy? What can we do to protect our data? Organizations, projects and initiatives promoting internet privacy.

Practical part:

Creating a map where we’ll capture some of the physical events derived from the Internet navigation of each workshop participant. This map should include, inter alia, the physical journey of our information, the different stakeholders (companies and countries) who have access and its impact on the environment (CO2 emissions).


Workshop 2. Deconstruct / Formal Analysis of the Interface: language, aesthetics and interaction (12h)
Friday 4th of March form 17h to 21h and also Saturday 5th from 10h to 14 and from 16h to 20h

Theoretical part:

How is an interface built? The code, language mathematization and automation.

– Interface Hacks, presentation and analysis of artistic pieces that alter the interface.

– Aesthetic and functional analysis of the most used globally (Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) interfaces and their role as political actors.

What is the source code of a page? Most common programming languages converging into the interface configuration.

Practical part:

– Basic introduction to HTML and CSS.

Changing the graphic design of graphic interfaces of Internet giants Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc …


Workshop 3 Re- articulate (12h)
Friday 11th of March from 17h to 21h , and also Saturday 12th from 10h to 14 and from 16h to 20h

Theoretical-Practical part:

Analysis of values and interests inscribed in graphic design and in the interaction between an interface and its impact on the user.

How is the interaction of an internet page? Brief introduction to Javascript.

Redesign of the interaction of graphical interfaces of Internet giants such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.


Reveal and understand invisible aspects that build the interface and analyze the consequences for the user and the social body.

Emphasize the materiality of the interface and its impact on the physical world. Show and measure the environmental impact of the interface.

– Expose the importance of protecting our data when we act through an electronic device. To give tools to shield them.

Understand and use web pages programming languages at a basic level.

Recognize and re-appropriating one’s own subjectivity.

Devise new aesthetics and functionality that respond more consistently with our scale of values and interests (individual and collective) and those of our context (social and natural).

Imagine and establish methodologies for the design of interfaces that support the community design over the corporate design.

This activity takes place within the framework of the European project IMAGIT.



Teacher’s BIO

Joana Moll. Barcelona, 1982

Artist and researcher. Her work critically explores the way in which post-capitalist narratives affect literacy machines, humans and ecosystems. Her main research interests include information technology and CO2 emissions, civil CCTV Internet and language. She has exhibited and presented her work in museums, art centers, festivals, universities and publications worldwide. Apart, is a member of the scientific and artistic transdisciplinary research project committee Antiatlas des Frontières [http://www.antiatlas.net] and founding member of the Institute for the Advancement of the Popular automatisms [http: //www.ifapa. me]. Similarly she has collaborated on several projects at the intersection between art and science, developed by the IMéRA, Aix-Marseille University and the University Pompeu Fabra among others. She actively collaborates with urgeurge.net, LEM Festival and Ojovoz.net. Her work is available on http://www.janavirgin.com

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