INTER-FACE is the second International Conference on Live Interfaces. The first took place in 2012, Leeds, UK. In Lisbon, the conference includes interactive installations, performances, paper presentations, workshops and posters/ demonstrations. INTER-FACE received 105 submissions from 14 countries, which were reviewed and discussed by an international team of experts. Several participants have also been invited. The conference will gather many researchers and artists – from pioneers in computer music and interactive composition, to young people with emerging careers.
Computers are tabula rasa. Software mediates physical action through code, and code embeds theories informed by specific purposes and criteria. For example, interfaces may apply the study of mechanisms through which we naturally perceive the world, because the interface brings a sense of immediate interaction. At the same time, interfaces may require effort, in a way that conveys expression. The problem is, theories embedded in software are too often taken for granted. In everyday life we are used to handling computers as magic black boxes that save us labor. When the black box works, its origins are forgotten; the more science and technology succeed, the more opaque and obscure they become, and the more distant we become of computation as creative material.
INTER-FACE seeks to question the principles governing interface design. There are often great differences between criteria from art, product design, or engineering, for example. INTER-FACE seeks to create a space of multiplicity, which gathers a diversity of perspectives, questioning how they may converge and diverge, and how that manifests in interaction design.
INTER-FACE promises four very intensive days. There will be interfaces conceived for the most different contexts, using the input of acoustic instruments, brain waves, muscle impulses, the position of a fish in a fish tank, textile fabric, water… just to name a few examples. The National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) hosts four installations and a performance. The Faculty of Fine Arts/ University of Lisbon (FBA-UL) hosts a workshop, twenty paper presentations, and a roundtable. The Institute of Art, Design and Enterprise (IADE) hosts two workshops. The School of Music of the National Conservatory (EMCN) hosts seven performances, fifteen posters/ demonstrations, and a roundtable. The ZDB gallery hosts ten performances.