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The central object I selected was a poster named “Poster for Lethal Art: Michelangelo and Astronaut“, which was created by Mike McNeilly in the late 20th. Although this object is neither a digital device nor an interface, I think it can be a rational hub to design the visitor’s experience.
As we can see, this poster is composed of multiple elements: Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam, Apollo 11 with Astronaut, the earth, Saturn, stars, and the texture of the poster look pixelated. These elements can be good paths to take visitors to various sides of the history and presence of computers.

The Creation of Adam
It is often said that this Michelangelo’s work describes the scene where God on the right side is transmitting the humanities to Adam on the left through their fingers. This scene can be translated as the metaphor of communication and the implementation of intelligence. In the computer field, communication happens in between human and machine, and one machine and another. The development of connectivity and the capacity of communication changed our lives drastically. Besides, this expansion of connectivity has made it possible to feed tons of data to machines so that they can acquire an “intelligence”. Considering that we have several machines with us every day and the machines are trained to be intelligent, the digital version of “the Creation of Adam” may be happening everywhere and every time.

Apollo 11 and the Astronaut
Some science magazines mention that the recent smartphones have millions of times more powerful than the computer-implemented on the spaceship such as Apollo 11. We carry such powerful devices every day but doing similar things – communicating with someone or being led somewhere. Of course, we do some other things, but how should we think about this point? In addition to that, humanities have developed a great number of devices to manage our life. Compared with the life support equipment of the spacesuit, it is quite smaller. We even forget that the device cares about our body on our wrist. The mobility and transparent interface made it possible.

The Earth, Saturn, and the Stars
The whole earth is getting connected, but we still have a lot of problems around the connectivity. The digital divide, north-south problem, the grate firewall, education, physical accessibility – we might have to tackle these issues over the countries, but there remains a lot of questions. For example, how much the government can intervene on the Internet? who owns it? How everybody can get an equal digital opportunity?

The Digital Eye
Computers have been able to see, but now they can recognize. Their sampling/quantization is now highly developed enough to tell who the person is and what the objects are on the camera in real-time (for instance, the machine learning framework named YOLO can do this). However, such technologies may bring us to the surveillance society as well as an automated society. In either way, we might have to know the possibilities of the technology. Which path we would like to take?

Coda
The problem of this poster might be that it is not a device and that I could not find much information about the work as well as the creator. On the other hand, I thought it was too common to display the famous machine like Apple’s personal computer as the central object and that it would be interesting if the central object was abstract to some extent. Also, I thought that beginning with the exhibition with the interactive experience would help the visitor think about the content more.

 

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