Dimensions of interaction
Real-time is not the only time of the interface. But as interactive works are based on moments and ephemeral temporal processes, time is a significant aspect for practitioners using interactive working methods. Every interactive work has many distinct and overlapping timeframes. In identifying and playing with different timeframes, artists and designers can offer a wider scope of new imaginative possibilities. The most obvious timeframes are marked by the moment of manifestation, when the work becomes public. Yet the elements that take place before and after the public manifestation are often overlooked. All the stages of the process, including research, experimentation, collaboration, prototyping and iterative design process, production, interaction and reflection can be mapped into various colliding and overlapping timeframes.
Awareness of duration and timeframes is a way of acknowledging what actually happened or what could prospectively happen. It is also a way of spotlighting particular moments, shifts, and enabling constraints in the work; it is a way for others to appreciate the invisible processes in an interactive work. The composite of different timeframes aggregates the traces: interactions themselves might exist as very short-lived timeframes, but there is a more enduring timeframe experienced by witnesses of traces that covers the life-span and social dynamics of interaction art.
(c) Interaktionslabor and Architecture of Interaction 2008/2013