Computer workstations tend to fracture our attention into tiny, task-oriented units. But even in our most productive, atomized mental states, and against the policies of our employers (or our own intentions), we instinctively steal moments to be idle at work.

Screen savers play when a computer is idle. They are not designed to immerse our attention - they are more of a decorative motion, a cinema of peripheral vision. Yet, as cinema, screen savers have unique characteristics: repetition, ubiquity, new contexts. They provide visual experiences that can extend through days, even months.

Why not create screen savers that interrupt the granular processing of tasks with humanity and complexity?

Why not do something with all this idle time?

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Copyright 2005 Cathy Davies