Interactive Artefact


Artefact Interaction Survey

The Interactive Dot matrix printer acts as an artefact created to function as a interface for communication between artists of the past and audiences of the present. The artefact allows the audience to experience the same mystery and curiosity that the artist Katherine Nash had when adapting to computer art.



The creation of this artefact was driven by my research and exploration into the dot matrix printer that the artists used. The mystery and curiosity I felt when trying to find, understand and function the printer, helped me understand that this was similar to what the artists of that time.


Interaction process

This is a set up that turns a printer into a video player, using sensors connected to video files, which generates a dot matrix projected print.

Artefact interaction process

Click image to enlarge

Main video projection

The artefact (printer) acts as an interface where video projections are triggered by what interactions you have with the artefact (printer), such as pressing buttons, twisting knobs and pulling levers.



Lever activated second video

Once a lever is pulled a second projection is displayed that demonstrates distorted clips of how the artists used the printer to create their computer art.

Speculative video


Computer Art Dot Matrix Video 

The Speculative design video was originally inspired by the research I conducted into Dot matrix prints in the V&A Archive, in the process of speculating their meaning, stories took shape by using scenarios that developed into a video. The video would be conveyed from artists of the past to the audience using the Artefact (dot matrix printer)


The first Video Projection

The artefact (printer) acts as an interface where video projections are triggered by what interactions you have with the artefact (printer), such as pressing buttons, twisting knobs and pulling levers.



The Second Video Projection

 Once a lever is pulled a second projection is displayed that demonstrates distorted clips of how the artists used the printer to create their computer art.


Speculative script

Narration Sound Recordings

In the process of researching Ideo design methods, I came across Narration, inspiring me to create a diverse sound narrated by three people, whose voice tone would represent the shift from introduction, design process and users creating their own art.


speculative Script

Click image to enlarge


Sound recordings

Shane Smidt

The first recording is played by myself, giving steady voice tone and talks about the past computer art.


Jordan Hurst

The second voice relates to the speculations of how the art was created.


Cindy Smidt

The third relates to inspiration and directing the audience to try creating their own computer art.


Dot Matrix printing Sounds

These sounds recreate the sounds each print made in the process of creating computer art.

Artifact Envirnmental Survey

 Environmental Survey

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I used contextual surveying to monitor how the audience may interactive engage with the environment around the dot matrix printer, and how they would interact with the technology. We did this my monitoring theory use of space and engage with operating the printer.

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The Hunt for the Mysterious printer

The Hunt for the printer

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The more we searched, we found that the printer was now seen as an object of great value with an average cost betwean £100- £200, shocking considering that no many people know how to work it.

We found a printer for a Reasonable price of £24 an bidded and won the device, but when I recieved it the mysteries only grew.

It was then that I found that I am fascinated by the mystery such as a button for changing fonts, but the object had too many parts that modern printing does not have. It was like it rejected modern technology

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The printer required special dot matrix paper, rejecting the standard computer paper. The paper itself was rare and and expensive, costing an average of £50 , but what was fascinating was tha the paper was contiuesly



The printer used components and like wire that were not compatibe with modern computers, leading us to find usb adapters



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These different components were difficult to find and become something of a hunt, Where I learnt what was needed and also got insight into the mind of the designers by understanding the tools they used, connecting with that frustration and relief when the pieces come together

The Return visit to the Archive

V&A Archive return visit

Upon further observation we found that the prints carried the same name of university and computer centre with dates that were very close to each other.

This speculative design research method helped form a connection between these designers that sets the prints as a collection, from this we can speculate that they were artists who followed a similar design approach to Katherine Nash.

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Discover the secrets of the archive

To understand the narative and the link it plays to the Kathrine nash and the technology of the time, we returned to the archive.    Finding that what we had seeked could not be found anywhere else as if it the information predated the modern technology


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The Space Oddessy Design Influence

The Space Oddessy Influence

Mystery Object Interaction

The space oddesy demosntrates in the begining of the intro, we see that in a primitive or natural envrionment, these apes come in contact with an artifact of mystery. it is not clear what it does or how it functions leading them to engage with the object.



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I believe that this is similiar to the behaviour brought forth when we as of a younger generation come into contact with technology that from the past that we are put in a position to operate.

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The familiar and unfamiliar Design Approach

Familiar and unfamiliar Design Approach

Cecilia Designer

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Designer Cecilia created a narrative where the   audience engaged with familiar objects to find their meaning, an idea we found similar to the way the audience would engage with a dot matrix printer that is unfamiliar to find meaning.

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The Printer hold the same level of mystery and curiousity as the time of Katherin Nash. This is because back then technoogy was new and unfamiliar, similiarily in modern time the technology is dated and rarely seen creating a cimiliar form of mystery

The design and narative of the artefact

Design Narrative Plan

We want to create an interactive narrative to the artefacts of Katherine that will allow the audience not only to learn from this disaster but being gauged and create their own style as they engage with Catherine gnashes past. The design approach will use the technology of the time to reconnect the audience with computer art from the distant past.

Processing that recoded sound waves and sent this as an image to the printer. This process however would fail to maintain interaction due to the slow pace of dot matrix print.


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