Through the Touching Glass: Literature for Haptic Inter[(surf)aces]

TitleThrough the Touching Glass: Literature for Haptic Inter[(surf)aces]
Publication TypeNT2 - Article d'un cahier virtuel
Year of Publication2016
AuteurMarques, D
E-Journal TitlePoétiques et esthétiques numériques tactiles: Littérature et Arts
Online Publication Date 7 janvier

The intensification of research surrounding digital media devices that require tactile/haptic functions, such as touch and gesture, along with efforts to increase tangibility in the Human-Machine Interface (HMI), is giving way to a whole new rhetoric of bodies and surfaces (as well as interfaces). Extending an avant-garde countercultural tradition that started questioning visual culture as early as the beginning of the last century, there is also evidence of an increasing number of digital literary works channelling its countercultural and metamedial poetics towards the aforementioned digital trends, including pieces that are specifically designed for multi-touch devices.

If what we need now to free us from gravity is just a leap or a take-off, which might be done by a simple touch of the hand or a snap of the fingers, what becomes of the eye? Moreover, as these works tend to question phenomena such as the opacity/transparency paradox through a critique of the digital media and devices enacting them, I argue that there is a need to question the complex movements that are being made on these glassy surfaces. If, in fact, we are now living in a Glass Age governed by a culture of alleged transparency, to what extent are these “transparent” touching glass surfaces becoming an opaque looking glass?