Non-Sequitur Interface: Anything from Films to Blogs

Especially in the times where we depend so much on internet for our daily lives, interface becomes very important to keep material as organized as possible. When reading the article “Humanities Approaches to Interface Theory” by Johanna Drucker, I made several connections to several different classes I am taking right now. Drucker brought up how non-sequitur elements in comics and film are more contingent and dispersed throughout online media. One is much more likely to come across a non-sequitur element in electronic resources because of the many different aspects of senses in one webpage.

Non-Sequiturs can be very confusing. They are anything that does not logically follow or connect similarly to previous arguments or surrounding objects and ideas. A non-sequitur can be a fallacy, but in the digital humanities, it is just a display of the diversity and complexity in blogs, websites, and other artistic media. I am taking a film class this semester, and one of the major discussions relates to how every role in the production of a film and every aspect of the video and audio in a scene is important to the story as a whole. The interface for a digital humanities website is a lot like a combination of a film and printed humanities. There are a lot of surprises, and nothing is as linear as it is in a journal or book in paper format, and it can be more confusing than the organization of film interface as well. Abstract films are more in line with a lot of digital humanities’ interfaces. There are more combinations of text, audio, visuals, and so on in somewhat seemingly random ways that actually expand upon each other in much more implicit and symbolic ways that are open to interpretation. The term digital humanities in general is very much open to interpretation right now as it is developing.

In a lot of ways, the interface for the best web pages is interactive, attention grabbing, thematic, symbolizing, and informative. Much like we talked about in Marc Santos’ lecture, the way an interface is organized is very rhetorical and can have a lot of impact that humanities in the non-digital world never were capable of displaying and from which they never felt pressured. Some people think that internet usage is shrinking the human brain, reducing gray matter from too much multitasking, and even decreasing attention span and making searching and learning a bit too easy. However, there is nothing easy about interface. A lot of interface in a website helps people think more for themselves and think more creatively and abstractly about the world instead of just taking someone’s literal “word for it” from a book, manuscript, magazine, or newspaper. The non-linear menu aspect of a webpage that includes hyperlinks, audio, video, chat, photos and many other ways to interact takes a lot of concentration, and is, indeed, a form of multitasking, but with limited time we have to be selective about which we choose to click on. Even with information being right in front of us we still need to know what to search for, what to trust, what to interpret, and how to use the web page at all.


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