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Do Not Touch – Celebrate the nearing end of the humble computer cursor

donottouch_04 copy


Created by Amsterdam based studio Moniker (Roel Wouters, Luna Maurer, Jonathan Puckey), Do Not Touch is a crowd-sourced music video for the band Light Light and is the second project (starting with Pointer Pointer) in a series of projects that celebrate the  “nearing end of the humble computer cursor”.

‘After 50 years of pointing and clicking, we are celebrating the nearing end of the computer cursor with a music video where all our cursors can be seen together for one last time.’

Viewers of the music video are presented with a warning that their cursors are being recorded and are given instructions, which they can follow by moving their cursors. In the background, clouds of cursors from visitors from the past follow the same instructions. First viewers interact on top of a computer display and then halfway through the camera zooms out, revealing a whole new world of options. Form the opponent, play the bass, put yourself on the line and do not touch the model. (The model’s nudity can only be of a temporary nature, as each forbidden touch obscures another part of her body.) While viewers view the video, in the background their browsers upload the recorded cursor data to Amazon S3 using specially signed urls.

On the backend, Jonathan explains to CAN, every hour a Node.js instance pulls down the latest cursor data from Amazon S3 and after validation persists it into a LevelDB database. The cursor data is then composited onto the music video frames and compiled into a video file using FFMPEG. If you look closely you will see four different types of cursors: Mac, Windows XP and Windows 7. A Ubuntu cursor was chosen to represent Linux users.

As always, we do not know what will happen with this project. Will people care? Will they follow our instructions? Will patterns emerge which we had not predicted? How many cursors will be too many? A thousand? Ten thousand? Fifty thousand?

Do Not Touch launches on Monday 15 April (today) at 3pm Amsterdam time (CET+1). When it’s up and its done, look out for the most awesome easter egg (hint: chrome>view>developer…)

Try it yourself at donottouch.org

Studio MonikerLight Light


  • Great!

  • The cursor won’t be going away for a long time. It’s simply the most accurate pointing device there is. Touch can’t come remotely close. As such, it’ll be used for graphic design (and considering the name of this site, you’d think you’d know better), programming, PC gaming, etc for a long, long time.

  • Most of the recent developments in computer – user interaction point the oposite. For example Oculus Rift for gaming, pointing devices, tracking, leap motion etc.. the way tech is going and as things get more accurate….I hope I am wrong since I like my cursor :)

  • Dale Healy

    Not going away in my lifetime.