The QWERTY keyboard is a ubiquitous object in public and private spaces, usually regarded as a means to engage with something other than itself. The history of its design stretches to the end of the 19th Century, and over the course of time its use has become naturalized for many. Despite proposals for new interfaces (touch screens, depth sensors, VR etc.) it remains a deeply familiar object, possibly the most humble and banal of peripherals.
This exhibition functions as an intervention on the everydayness of keyboards by presenting them as the site of artistic innovation. Each artist featured investigates and prods the capabilities of the keyboard to transform it from a quotidian object into a expressive interactive and visual experience; a practice that video game scholar Brian Schrank refers to as “affordance mining”. These experiments challenge our expectations of what pedestrian technologies are capable of, and in doing so also challenge the rhetorics and values embedded in technology, consumer electronics, and video game development.
The exhibition was hosted at VGA Gallery from June to September 2018. Responsible for curation of digital and print work, writing of content, design of space, and installation of work in partnership with VGA co-founder Chaz Evans.
Hunt And Peck toured to the Massachusetts Institute College of Art’s Game Lab later in November of 2018.