Uncertainty Versus Control

A theme of today’s unsymposium was about control. When working on the network and/or in interactive media you have one simple question. How do you want to respond or manage the experience of uncertainty. This uncertainty is any, or all of:

  • my relation to what I make
  • my relation to my audience
  • what I make’s relation to the audience
  • what I make’s relation to its parts
  • my audience’s relation to the parts of what I make
  • and whether my audience are users or an audience

All of these can be completely controlled, completely open, or (as is normally the case) somewhere in between. Control is the obverse to uncertainty. Do you have to insist that C follows B follows A, all the time? That what you make is fixed and can’t be touched/changed/altered? The audience is there to consume, not do? That the pieces of my work should stay still, just so? Our answers vary, but how these are answered largely defines the sort of interactive work you can and will make.