[artinfo] Against the Frictionless Interface! An Interview with Lori Emerson

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sun Jul 27 18:48:04 CEST 2014

Against the Frictionless Interface! An Interview with Lori Emerson.

By Monty Cantsin - 23/07/2014

As founder/director of the Media Archeology Lab in Colorado, Lori 
Emerson has (since 2009) been surrounding herself with "dead" media 
technologies in order to help make sense of (and critique) today's 
much-hyped alive ones. Being also a scholar and critic of 
contemporary poetics, she is keenly aware of how such devices are 
equipped to influence and constrain our writing/thinking.

Emerson's work celebrates and calls for a "frictional media 
archeological analysis" aimed at the continual "unmooring" of the 
accepted conventions of reading and writing. Towards this end, she 
critiques consumer-oriented trends in computing--trends which 
unfortunately seek to "efface the interface" in the name of so-called 
user-friendliness. Montgomery Cantsin conducted the following 
interview by email upon the release of Lori's new book, Reading 
Writing Interfaces (recently published by University of Minnesota 



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