Friday, March 25, 2011
In the everyday use of tools, their operation becomes routine and normalized. Interfaces work in the same way. When we switch devices there is often a certain amount of disruption and we are thrown back on the stubborn materiality of our instruments of control, those tools that we normally experience as being straightforward - become almost invisible. 'Heidegger's hammer' is a way of explaining how the tool recedes from view in daily use. Its visibility is heightened when 'the tool turns out to be damaged or the material unsuitable.' (1962:102). That was my experience operating the above keyboard. Nothing went well. I had to look a bit closer to see that the familiar looking object was subtley different. The letter arrangement is not the usual QWERTY layout, but the Belgian equivalent. It disrupted my operations, I became hesitant and dependent on an expert to guide me.
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