“Swipe” has become the established term to refer to the set of operations on digital devices involving sliding a finger across the surface of a touch screen. Sliding to open, scratching to erase, or moving right to accept are all actions resulting from the mutation from mechanical keys to touchpoints and finger choreographies. Typing text has not been exempted from such a mutation. Indeed, gestural text entry keyboards, more widely known by their commercial names Swype or Swiftkey, allow writing by sliding a finger from the first to the last letter of a word on a screen keyboard. The artwork Swipe, by Bérénice Serra, records these tactile choreographies to raise the gestural text entry method into more than a tool, namely into a writing system in itself. The movements thus become monograms.
Bérénice Serra (FR)
Bérénice Serra (b.1990) is a media artist and researcher based in Caen (FR) and Zürich (CH). She develops both artistic and theoretical projects that question the modes of conception, production and exchange of cultural forms in the digital age. By collecting user-generated images, designing hybrid books with the languages of the web and curating wild exhibitions with smartphones, she is essentially interested in the problem of publication — how contents go public. By considering digital devices and technical infrastructures (smartphones, servers, platforms, etc.) as reticular means of publication and edition, giving individuals new forces for emancipation, Bérénice Serra’s research focuses on the aesthetic and sociopolitical issues of the contemporary experience of public space. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, in France and abroad (Ars Electronica, CCA Kitakyushu, Cité du design of Saint-Etienne, Mucem, Mirage festival, Interstice festival, etc.). She lectures regularly on digital arts and media (University of Paris-Nanterre, University of Sfax in Tunisia, ESAD Orléans, ENSAD Paris, etc.).
Gianni Gastaldi is a philosopher and historian of science, specialized in the philosophy and history of formal knowledge (mathematics, logic, computer science) from the early 19th century to the present. He is a researcher at ETH (Zurich) and executive director of the Turing Centre Zurich.