Screen Sailor

A Timely Remedy for Cursory Tedium

The video shows Screen Sailor 1

As it sails across the screen, from the uncontested domains of the menu bar to the eclectic designs of the Dock, from the bitten apple to the virtual trash bin, the cursor is quite literally the focal point of your digital life. Few are the things in the world that your eyes fixate on as much as they do on this color-deprived shape-shifter, now an arrow, now a beam. It is, after all, the very point where your naked whim meets the yielding power of your machine. And, as the machine is getting ever more powerful, and the whims ever more whimsical, isn’t this minimalist relic of a pre-Internet age somehow out of place in our time? Is it not the case that the cursor owes your faithful gaze something in return? A token of its appreciation, a candy for the weary eye at least?

Is there a pot of flowers where you work? How about a dear face in a little picture frame? A squeaky toy? A something-or-other that belongs there because it doesn’t belong there? An anchor for your sanity and a parking spot for your identity… This thingy of yours, does it make you any more productive? And even if the studies where to show that it does, that it bolsters your work ethic and collegial disposition, would you really care that much? Isn’t any such increase in productivity just a by-product of a more important benefit of having this portable little shrine about you?

But what about the cursor, that attention sink which rules the eye across the realms of the desktop screen? Whose side is it on? Should it not repay you with a little care for all that attention? Would that increase your productivity? Would you care if it did? Do you think that such a thing would be possible, that it can be made to work for you? Would you want to try it if someone did make it for you? Well, we've made it alright, and wondered if we'd hit the spot or if we'd missed it, if you have ideas that would better guide our design? And if you do, we are all ears!

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