Paper OS (Stop Motion Photoshop)

Earlier this year I was in a motion media theory class where, for a final project, I decided to examine the way that digital tools are designed to emulate old-fashioned physical tools. For example, Microsoft Word is a typewriter emulator. iTunes is a jukebox emulator. Skype is a telephone emulator, etc.

So I set my sights on Adobe Photoshop, which is an emulator of a darkroom and an art table, and ended up with the above video art piece. You can view the YouTube page for the full description and theory discussion, but just to summarize, I used a combination live-action video and stop motion animation to simulate Photoshop occurring in the physical world. Whereas the digital usually imitates the physical, by inverting the process I call attention to its strengths and weakness as a user interface design methodology.

Heavy stuff, huh? Well, if you don’t like all the theory you can just watch it and laugh at how funny looking Windows 95 is by today’s standards. Haha! Look at that copy of Norton.