Wednesday, February 9, 2011

[Yasmin_discussions] next step publishing

Dear Yasminers,

Since Salvatore mentioned in his introductory statement as an example of a possible "next step" towards new forms of publishing, I would like to intervene in this interesting discussion with my 2 cents...

Salvatore asks, "Can bodies, architectures, geographies, relationships, emotions, cities, information, research processes represent proper spaces for new kinds of publications?" ... and, instead of attempting a reply, I would like to point out that this question reveals an unprecedented openness in the field of publishing. Now we can actually go beyond the book (with all its cultural, narrative and material implications) and experiment with new formats. I believe that the key fact here is that we now have the tools to manage (write, publish and read) works which are much more complex: we can now find our way through chaotic narrative fragments, instead of following the linear order imposed by books. We can now distribute, collaborate, share, customize... The folksonomies at can be an example: the participants in the projects, who construct their narrations freely, also add tags to their fragments. By selecting one of such tags on the web
interface, we can filter our reading: this is the potential of databases as narrative platforms.

The questions asked by Jennifer Kanary are also very interesting: "A question I have related to 'next step publishing' is how does it
relate to illiteracy? How do the technologies involved effect illiteracy? Would it make a positive or negative impact? Who would be the new illiterates? And what role would access to technology play?" ... let's try to think about them, since illiteracy is still rampant in many areas of the world, and maybe we should do something as take our "next steps". Douglas Rushkoff's "program or be programmed" comes to mind: perhaps the new literacy will be about knowing what happens inside the black box, that is, being able to at least read and understand the code that makes our applications run.


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