Hunt and Peck: Alternative Expressions of the Keyboard


Friday, Jun 29 - Sep 2, 2018

  • Exhibitions
  • Location
    VGA Gallery
    West Side
    2418 W Bloomingdale #102
    Chicago, IL 60647
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    Opening reception: Friday, June 29, 5-8pm
    Public viewing hours: Wednesdays 5-8pm, Sundays 12-5pm

    The QWERTY keyboard is a ubiquitous object in public and private spaces, usually regarded as a means to engage with something other than itself. The history of its design stretches to the end of the 19th Century, and over the course of time its use has become naturalized for many. Despite proposals for new interfaces (touch screens, depth sensors, VR etc.) it remains a deeply familiar object, possibly the most humble and banal of peripherals.

    This exhibition functions as an intervention on the everydayness of keyboards by presenting them as the site of artistic innovation. Each artist featured investigates and prods the capabilities of the keyboard to transform it from a quotidian object into a expressive interactive and visual experience; a practice that video game scholar Brian Schrank refers to as “affordance mining”. These experiments challenge our expectations of what pedestrian technologies are capable of, and in doing so also challenge the rhetorics and values embedded in technology, consumer electronics, and video game development.