For this colloquium session, IXDM researcher Michael Rottmann will introduce and discuss his thinking about interfaces:

In a common understanding an interface is considered in a technological sense as these certain components of a system, which provide a place where a user can act – by pushing a button or pointing at something – to interact with a machine and control it. Ivan Sutherland´s „Sketchpad“ is regarded nowadays as a prototype of such a technical interface.

Picking up this historical case, I want to introduce and discuss scripts and diagrams as interfaces in my lecture. A media archaeology shall reveal that and how such media functioned as interfaces in historical man-machine-configurations. With regard to recent interface-theory, which treats an interface not only as a (technological) product, but also as a process and a certain practice (Drucker, Hookway), I want to suggest, that scripts and diagrams function as interfaces in human-human-configurations, when humans access and control themselves in an „interaction-systems“ (Luhman). One can even control oneself in the sense of Foucault with an „auto-interface“ how I call it.

The term „interface“ will be reflected and mediatheoretical considerations about the script and the diagram introduced, especially their specific properties like operativity and materiality discussed. By fathoming the interface-concept connections between media- and communication studies, computer science and didactics will be tied.

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