Week 5: In Response to Rokeby

Rokeby’s discussion on interactive art really struck me in his discussion of navigable structures; the idea of an architectural metaphorical space is appealing in the upheaval of traditional structure. We see walls and picture them to be as such in our minds, even when they are constructed of mere pictures or words. Reading this is pushing me to find some other form of inversion or ‘breaking’ of reality in my project through a more complex series of decision-making. As a biology major and a psych minor, the idea of a navigable structure being similar to a lab rings very close to home; I do occasionally feel judged when an experimenter is watching me do a trial run on a computer, or when I am trying to decide what my next decision will be in an experiment. The idea that this constraint should be removed for interactive art to meet its full potential is very relatable; however, I disagree that there being no apparent reward or incentive to explore the art prevents it from being satisfying. We as humans, in a responsive system, tend to explore driven primarily by curiosity: in games where there the environment is not necessarily related to the quest at hand, many players will still take time to explore every bound of the world before them. The issue may lie more in whether the artwork is personally compelling to the audience: a delay or lack of response in any form can cause an explorer or interactor to lose motivation altogether. This may be the most subjective part of the artwork; it is not up to the artist entirely what makes an artwork compelling to a specific individual.

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