[ISEA95] Panel: George Legrady – Interface metaphors and new narratives in interactive media

Panel Statement

Panel: Interactivity and Metaphors

Digital Interactive media require metaphor based, organizational models by which to conceptually situate the viewer and to provide a way of accessing and understanding data. By knowing “the story” or metaphor; the viewer can successfilly navigate inside the interactive program. As a result, these metaphor environments promise to be the key site for innovative developments of a linguistic, symbolic, aesthetic, sensory and conceptual nature, redefining the interactive viewer’s experience within the digital environment. This presentation will discuss the relevance and conceptualization of interface metaphors with examples of the artists’ recent works.

The mechanized sound of an old movie projector is triggered by the flickering motion of an early 1950’s black and white movie. A smiling woman turns her head towards the camera through a shower of film scratches. A man walks into the frame and they kiss. To the right of this scene a color panel comes alive with a fast moving camera pan of a graffiti covered wall and stairs, the movement accentuated by the sound of heavy traflic noises. The camera stops when it reaches the site of the kissing scene recorded some fifty years earlier. With the click of the mouse, the screen changes to an architectural floor plan animated by the sound of footsteps of
what we imagine to be archivists silently moving around. An Anecdoted Archivefrom the Cold War is an interactive artwork on CD-ROM designed as a museum exhibition display. The Archive features early 1950’s Central European personal and official Communist material in the form of home movies, objects, family documents, Socialist propaganda, money, sound recordings, news reports, books, identity cards, photographs of public documents and video footage of Central European places and events. These have been part of my collection of objects and narratives related to the Cold War, gathered during the past twenty years. The items, grouped into some sixty topics, were organized thematically in eight rooms superimposed on the original floor plan of the former Workers’ Movement (Propaganda) museum in Budapest, the original contents of which have been in permanent storage since the end of Communism in 1990.

  • George Legrady (Hungary/Canada) is Associate professor in Information Arts/ Conceptual Design at San Francisco State University. He has received awards from the NEA, Voyager/Interval Research and the Canada Council. Upcoming exhibitions of his interactive installations will take place at the Mcsarnok Museum (Budapest), the Biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon (France), and Photography After Photography (Munich).

Full text p.155-157  (The text was previously published in Les Hypermedias. revue
virtuelle 12. 1994. Centre Georges Pompidou. Paris, France)