George S. Roland: Thirteen Sketches for an Incompetent User Interface

  • ©,

  • ©,



    Thirteen Sketches for an Incompetent User Interface


Creation Year:



    Interactive Installation


    75" x 24" x 34"



Artist Statement:

    My work is concerned with human beings and their uneasy relationships with the machines that inhabit the world, especially the computer. The computer is the central metaphor for our “Information Age” and its most characteristic artifact. I use it as both the medium and subject of my work. I am interested in creating work that questions the boundaries between what is “human” and what is “technological,” poking fun at the illusions of empowerment and control we enjoy if we acquire the newest, fastest, and most costly devices available. The computer promoter’s utopian promises of seamless perfection and ever-enhanced productivity and leisure may be contrasted with crashes, lost data, the “millennium bug,” and a host of other less-than-perfect facts of daily life.

    In this work, common computer user interface objects have been programmed to be humorously dysfunctional. There is, to me, a special, perverse irony in using computer programming, an activity constantly perceived as practical and helpful, to produce faulty, incompetent behavior in the command and control devices we expect to do our bidding.