MyPhoneHenge Kickstarter Project has been funded! Woohoo! And a ginormous THANK YOU to all of the supporters who pledged to make it happen. I am doing my part, sweating over hot flames to make something extraordinarily cool!
With the Actual BIG(D)ESIGN 2012 conference this week, I am making the final pieces for assembly of this monstrous multi-dimensional work of art. You’re gonna like it!
It has been confirmed that opening the conversation with “I have filed a complaint against you with the FCC and the number is 12-C00398725″ gives the phone rep a stronger case to make to her supervisor to get the right technical people involved to get it done. It still takes persistence and effective communication. Being an IT person helps only in that it makes me fully aware that the technical constraints we are battling are nonsense. The limitations are self-imposed choices by the marketing dept, designed to bring in business, not serve customers. In the end we did get the right people on the phone and got it done.
What is scary is the amount of dumbness that is purposely imparted to the staff as knowledge. It is a dark side of the tech culture that large hoards of people are fed contrived nonsense by marketers and told it is gospel truth of technology as if it were physical laws of the universe.
Folks - Technology does what you tell it to do. Don’t be satisfied with one of those “That’s just the way it is” computer stories about how “the system only lets me do this or that”. Somebody is in charge and it isn’t HAL.
Too often automation is used to invent new crazy things for staff to do. Wise use of automation does the opposite. It actually eases workload rather than creating it. However, in contrast to the old classic fear of workers being replaced by machines, automation can play the role of a great assistant, providing just in time information for decision support and relief from busywork that steals away human attention from key tasks.
One thing for sure that a couple decades of automation including artifical intelligence have taught us; That is: humans are still smarter for handling the unforeseen. Technology is supreme with the most predictable, mundane, repetative tasks. Perfect!
So let’s be sure that we’re assigning the tasks where they fit. Unfortunately, a lot of folks are getting it exactly backwards. Then they are befuddled that they are not getting the benefits they expected. Its really no surprise. Any technology installed backwards is likely to produce something other than the desired effect, including maybe even the opposite effect. Which way are you doing it?
A sound process incorporates business process engineering experts to extract from the subject matter experts the intrinsic requirements and employs advanced user experience design expertise to drive the implementation of systems to support them. Is healthcare late to the party?
Important note: A common fallacy is to have users do design. Design is for designers who study the needs of healthcare professionals just as they would any user category. Doctors are not designers and should know better than to self-prescribe in a specialty beyond their own expertise, just as patients should be listened to closely, but not given keys to the pharmacy cabinet.
The Texas Sculpture Association show at the Aloft Hotel Dallas is underway. The artists’ reception was yesterday evening. Great time had by all. It was fun meeting people and looking at a wide spectrum of styles. I am proud to be displaying my work alongside these other artists’ work.
Out of 90+ works in the show, there was only one that had anything directly to do with technology in subject matter or substance; MyFavoriteMachine
Multiple people commented to me, not just that they liked MFM, but that they enjoyed watching other people engaging with it. Hmmm.
There were a few people who expressed absolute ecstatic excitement over MFM. They happened to be the youngest people in the place. They were Twenty-ish while most of the art crowd appeared to be in the age bracket of between fifty and a hundred years old. Whadja say, sonny?
One young man told me he came to the show just to see MFM. Thanks Justin. It was great meeting you. More important than my being flattered, it tells me something about the appeal of this art motif that I have invented. Maybe anyone could have guessed it, but I like the way the evidence is stacking up.
All Young people get it.
Some older Tech savvy people get it.
People who are basically outside the box thinkers get it.
This is consistent with the response I have gotten so far already as it has appeared in various locations.
Who I don’t expect to get it:
People who are not current with technology, not that you must know how to operate it, but this art is about technology from an up-close personal and social/cultural point of view. Art connecting to an expereince that they do not share would naturally be a like a dance to music they cannot hear.
Some Art establishment people. The reason is interesting and I am still figuring it out. Ironically, while we think of artists as outside the box thinkers, the fact is they have their own boxes. There are plenty of rules and conventions that must be adhered to in order to fit into the art world as we know it today. MFM violates some of those rules. I may elaborate on that later, but for now I’ll compare it to a Seattle grunge band playing at a swing / big band recital. That Art world is about to change and MFM will help change it. I clearly recall a similar thing happening in the tech world when the world wide web happened. There were plenty of reasonably smart tech people that said it was “just a fad” and would quickly fade. I being a youthful analyst at the time got extremely excited as I brainstormed endless things that the web could be used to do. One of my collegues who I choose not to embarrass told me, “Roger, to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail”. Well, today, virtually everything is a nail. In fact, there are far more nails in the world than ever I could have imagined.
What to do with this? My experiment:
Where to go from here seems very clear. In the words of my twenty-ish daughter, “Play to the young crowd”.
So, I will be looking for opportunities to display works from the MyFavoriteMachine series on college campuses and other locations where young people gather, any place where creativity is fostered. Art and or technology departments of course would be targets, but also cultural anthropology, sociology, and really anywhere the cross-over between sciences and humanities is contempleted. If you have suggestions and contacts for such places that would be interested in hosting MFM, please let me know. They can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Timothy Leary is Dead” indeed and his legacy is a negative one. Still, I’d like to latch on to the idea that he had of encouraging young people to expand their thinking, but take it in a positive direction. I’ll reuse the first step, ‘tune In” which now refers (not reefers) to the technology culture and add my own second and third steps.
Tune in, Get Creative, and Share something good with others.
A great tune with a little time and age introspection built in by the Moody Blues
Spent much of the day installing MyFavoriteMachine and Javelin Man in the lobby of the ALoft Hotel, Dallas. These are part of the Texas Sculpture Association show running through Jun 9. You are all invited! Opening reception for the artists is May 18.
What a great space for an art show! The ALoft staff is awesome. They seemed particularly excited about having my art there and they gave MFM an ideal location in the main corridor between main desk and the elevators. It is fun to see people walking by and enjoying the art. Some stop to point out details and smile, touch the metal, or pull out their own smart phone and take photos.
Sweating all week finishing the structural elements of MyPhoneHenge. Frames are completed. Interior rectangular frames provide finish it off nicely, providing a standard structure to which all of the other elements can be attached. It also provides a rich aesthetic of contrasting square black perforated steel against the tubular outer frame. Just so ya know, my intention is to leave these mainly hollow, staying consistent with my motif of sketching in space. I think it is far more interesting to look into and through an object than simply at it.
Perceiving the whole volume is much more interesting to me than a surface. You can see this bias of mine throughout my sculpture work, both techno and figures. I also like to play with inverting the positive and negative spaces, making your brain do more filling in based in certain visual cues hints or suggestions about the form. Its always more fun when your mind works more. That’s why the book is always better than the movie.
Speaking of stirring the imagination. Here are some photos to stir yours up a bit. Cheers!
This is the big Push week to get the lion’s share of MyPhonehenge completed in anticipation for the BIG(D)ESIGN 2012 conference at the end of this month. I’ll be adding photos as I go. Here’s some sketches to perhaps help you see right inside my brain.
Support the Art, See the Art! $150 Pledge gets your ticket into BIG(D)ESIGN and a MyPhoneStone and a T-Shirt! Limited to 30. That’s 1 BIG(D)ESIGN Ticket + a MyPhoneStone + T-Shirt! A $300 value for $150! Amazing! Won’t last long!
Several of the basic usability design principles such as “Visibility of system status” and “User Control” and “Match between system and the real world’ are violated by the Airbus mini-stick in combination with other controls in the context of use. Additionally, there are some principles of automation – foremost, if you are going to fully automate a task, you must get it right 100% of the time. No exceptions. Otherwise revert to the rules i already mentioned. Second, Assume that the human makes the final decisions and therefore must be fully informed on what the system is doing (I’m repeating myself).
There are too many stories about humans being out of the loop on what the patronizing system is doing which results in misunderstandings what is happening, often assuming that the system is smarter than it really is. Would you trust your smartphone autocorrect to fly your airplane? This is not the first incident of a pilot being confused by or fighting against Airbus controls. Poor system status awareness generates undue trust and distrust of the system, both constitute human error.
Airbus was very foolish with the mini stick and over-automation and everyone knows it. That it was supposedly “designed by pilots” is also foolishness and is no defense. Are pilots human factors design experts? If a patient self-prescribes and the physical approves, who bears the responsibility? Ask Michael Jackson’s physician.