Alex Fleck, English PhD student, appears in the latest edition of The Nordic Journal of Aesthetics for a book review he wrote about “The MetaInterface: The Art of Platforms, cities, and clouds” by authors Christian Ulrik Anderson and Søren Bro Pold. The text explores the aesthetics of the metainterface – it attempts to “map” and understand the features of human relationships to data-driven applications.
The book unpacks the ways the “human” in “Human-Computer Interaction” is being displaced by companies that commodify our data to improve data-collating algorithms – think: Netflix recommendations, Facebook suggestions, and Google searches. Ultimately, the authors aim to better understand the relationship between individuals, society, and big data through analyzing the way digital interfaces create meaning or have a particular flavour of their own.
We do still play an important role in technological advancement insofar as our behaviour, or deviations, is aggregated to improve the accuracy of systems. But what if we play with Kindle e-book predictions by feeding it text from YouTube comments? Or, what if we download browser plug-ins that block Facebook data collection?
“With media theory/studies as the broadest disciplinary boundary, The Metainterface is recommended to those interested in net/software art and electronic literature, digital humanists that already harness elements or features of the metainterface in their work, (naturally) to those that study interface/design in HCI or other fields, to literary scholars interested in the ways reading/writing have changed over time, and to scholars interested in Big Data and its effects.” – Alex Fleck, from the published review.