I just saw this video on Upworthy (a favorite internet haunt of mine for its uplifting and intriguing content) about social interaction through objects, such as cellphones and other electronic devices.
It wasn’t exactly what I expected. I was watching with the expectation that the upshot would be that more electronics meant a more limited human experience. Instead, these interface designers were showing how the digitally networked experience can enhance our interactions instead of limit them. They used some really great examples including the Egyptian revolution and the Occupy Wall St movement.
However, it also sort of terrified me. I don’t know where my place would be in a world where every object has a digital aspect or representation. I’m terrible at talking on the phone because the lack of body language and facial expression makes me question my interpretations of their responses. I’m terrible at Twitter because I don’t feel the need to announce my lunch time to everyone who happens across my feed.
I work with my hands with very limited “connectivity.” Although my kiln and lamps and dremel are all powered on electricity, none are connected to the web. My designs are in a notebook instead of in CAD. My clay colors are in little physical sample tiles that I’ve made over the years.
I’m much more comfortable in the world of textures and tactile sensations than I am in the digital world. (I proved it to myself when I tried to create my own website from scratch. HA! Now I use Indiemade.com)
If the world is becoming more and more electronic, where is my place as an artisan? In this age when a design can be digitally rendered, printed on a 3D printer, and be born never having been touched by the human hand, where do I fit?
I guess I’ll find out.