Unpatentable Multitouch Aerobics
documentary / experimental documentary
performance, Apple, smartphone, multitouch, zoom, aerobics, intellectual property
“Every era has its interface, and every interface determines how we relate to the world,” Alexander Provan has written recently. This era is an era of embodied digitality, in which our bodies shape our digital interactions. Yet, at the same time, Apple Inc. is “indisputably striving to corner the market on how we move our fingers across screens,” noted Provan, citing the company’s most recent win of a patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung for its multi-touch gestures. In January 2011, Apple patented the gesture of pinching and spreading to zoom. In response, artist Liat Berdugo attempted to file for the copyright to the “dance” of zooming herself (https://vimeo.com/digikitsch/zoom) into the camera. In December of 2013, Berdugo was notified that copyright protection filing was denied because the work deposited was not choreography, but rather -- quite remarkably! -- deemed an “aerobic exercise program” by the US Copyright Office. (The full response from the US Copyright office is viewable at http://goo.gl/yQP4Tc). In response, Berdugo and Osborne created an actual aerobics routine -- entitled Unpatentable Multi-touch Aerobics. The artists gave a workshop in how to practice this new sporting routine at the first annual World Wide West Summit (http://worldwidewest.net/) in Point Arena, CA.