The floor screen in HUMlab-X will be built over the next month. HUMlab is a meeting place for the humanities, culture and information technology, and while I often say that much goes on in HUMlab that is not dependent on heavy-duty technology, the screen illustrates a very important aspect of our operation. Technological engagement and vision.
Most screens (not true of mobile phones and ipads) are hung on walls or put on tables. Most of them are wide screen (a cinematic format essentially). When Patricia Seed talked about maps in HUMlab in October, she stressed the fact that archived maps are often very large and always dealt with in a horizontal fashion. You do not (and cannot) hang them on walls. You look at them laying flat. This may be one use of the new screen. And I have been thinking of Jackson Pollock’s work and his well-known statement: “On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting.”. HUMlab is an experimental and explorative platform, and we do not quite know what will happen, but I know there are number of people and groups interested in working with us. I am also personally looking forward to telling stories there using this screen as well as other technological (and non-technological) layers.
The screen will have multi-touch interactivity and I imagine we will build several intersecting interaction systems (we are working a great deal with kinects right now). Importantly, also, the screen will have a premium position in HUMlab-X and will speak directly with the heavily frequented hallway outside. It will be part of our expression and presence.
Of course, technology is just one part of our operation and the context of HUMlab. A critical factor on the Arts Campus is the connection with the Schools of Design, Architecture and Fine Arts as well as with the Bildmuseet. And we also see connecting to the main campus as quite important as well to the rest of the world. And HUMlab is one operation with several physical and digital platforms and labs.