When you play Angry Birds, at this point it’s likely a completely unconscious, natural gesture; draw back, aim and release. But what if each time you did that, you produced an indelible mark, so that after countless hours spent playing Rovio’s addictive physics flinging mobile game, you had a visual record of your part of the process? That’s exactly what artist Evan Roth did for his latest installation piece, and the end result is a kind of cave painting representation of one man’s journey through a mobile game from beginning to end.
Roth used 300 pieces of tracing paper and black ink to capture the gestures he used on an iPhone’s screen in order to beat Angry Birds. You can see where he drew back and positioned in each instance, and also where he used a secondary tap to get the birds to activate their special ability. The Angry Birds exhibit is part of a larger series called Multi-Touch Paintings that involve a variety of paintings generated through interacting with touchscreen devices. Roth describes the reasoning behind the paintings in a statement from his web page:
The series is a comment on computing and identity, but also creates an archive of this moment in history where we have started to manipulate pixels directly through gestures that we were unfamiliar with just over 5 years ago. In the end, the viewer is presented with a black and white representation of the gestures that have been prescribed to us in the form of user interaction design.
Presented all at once as a wall of 300 cards, you begin to get a sense of just how much time and actual physical action we pour into even something as casual and functionally simple as Angry Birds. The video below, set to extremely appropriate theme music, also has a weird way of making you rethink your standard Angry Birds experience.