[W]hen it comes to gestures, such as the now ubiquitous “pinch and zoom” technology through which users stretch or shrink pictures and text, well, that no longer feels quite the same. They are gestures that may have begun on the device, but which have become internalized, human movements. When my daughter was three I used to watch her attempt to enact those same swipes and stretches on the television screen – a phenomenon so prevalent that many television dealers now keep a supply of Windex handy to clean their giant flat screens of children’s fingerprints on a regular basis.
That’s because these gestures are not simply technological innovations, but the language through which we humans are coming to navigate our way through the emerging digital landscape. We take to gestures and movements that grow out of the ones we use here in the real world. To translate them into the digital realm well requires skill, but the gestures themselves are not the typical territories – like land masses – over which corporations have traditionally fought. They’re inside us.