Category Archives: jo

why are screens square?

More from the archive, I’m afraid; but I’ve quoted this so often in the last year that it merits repeating.
A video of Jo Walsh, a simultaneously near-invisible and near-legendary hacker I met through the University of Openess in London, talking about FOAF, Web3.0, geospatial data, the ‘One Ring To Rule Them All’ tendency of so-called ‘social media’ and the philosophies of making tech tools.
“Why are screens square?”, she asks. What follows is less a set of theories as a meditation on what happens when you start trying to think back through the layers of toolmaking that go into a piece of paper, a pen, a screen, a keyboard – the media we use to represent ourselves, and that we agree to pretend are transparent. This then becomes the starting-point for another meditation on who owns, or might own, our digital future.
(High-quality video so takes a little while to load)