Thursday, February 10, 2011

[Yasmin_discussions] Next Step Publishing: interesting topics and first step of the experiment

dear Yasminers,
at this address you will find the first step of the experiment in publishing
we will be performing during this discussion

(it is quite a heavyweight script on a small server, please be patient while

as you can see all content from the discussion is being analyzed and
organized along a graph structure.

this graph structure will be the base of the generative production of the
tangible interfaces which we will build as experimental form of publication.

this experiment also allows us to take a bird's eye view on the topics that
have been confronted so far.

i would like to focus on a few of them: body, illiteracy, freedoms and
uniquitous ethnography / eXpanded design

one main idea behind all these topics is a mutation: the way we experience
space, time and relationships is deeply changing.

any surface can become a display and anything animate or inanimate can
become both a source or destination of information and, thus, publishing.

this idea brings forth concepts that come from both near and far away in

surrealism and art of the early 20th century were all about re-encoding the
world. readymade, dada, surrealists. When Bataille suggested that individual
experience is just as important as collective experience, he was actually
opening up the doors to postmodern thinking and, thus, to the idea of a
stratified, interconnected, interwined reality and of its dimensions of

these images now become objectivized, as digital technologies are bringing
forth the possibility to write on the world in this exact modality. Even
simple gestures like writing on social networks such as foursquare or
twitter or layar allow us to create additional layers of reality that can
embody our own interpretation of it, and interconnect it to others, making
new cross-personal, connective, polyphonic narratives emerge.

from the System of NonKnowledge of Bataille to Debord's psychogeography, a
conceptual leap happens in that rebellion transforms into possibility and
tool and opportunity for expression.

recent work from Mark Sheperd Serendipitor

suggest cities in which possibilities open up, going beyond the idea of
effectiveness (e.g.: "shortest path from A to B") and bringing forth
collaborative, surreal, multiple and fluid interpretations of the city.

And the whole idea of WikiCity ( ) is a
reinvention of the "publisher", transforming it into a provider of platforms
for multiple expressions. At their website they state:

"we are creating a new platform for storing and exchanging data which are
location and time-sensitive, making them accessible to users through mobile
devices, web interfaces and physical interface objects. This platform
enables people to become distributed intelligent actuators, which pursue
their individual interests in cooperation and competition with others, and
thus become prime actors themselves in improving the efficiency of urban

These processes are happening in multiple ways across different domains.
Here arts and science collaborate (both practically and imaginarily) to
very effective levels.

Are not's GeoGoo maps ( ), the continuous
reinvention of urban spaces enacted by street artists (watch for example
this beautiful project narrating the history of walls ) like graffiti writers and skateboarders,
flickr's maps ( ), projects like BBC's dimensions
( ), SIMon ( ) and
the Atlas of Rome ( ) similarly
opening up possibilities for interpretation of the spaces in which we live?

Furthermore, body is becoming an active part in this scenario: wearable
computing, mobile devices, living cities, sensors and prosthetics of many
kinds enact dialogues among bodies, cities, individuals and objects that
start off at biometrics, as suggested earlier on by Roger, and end up at
entirely new forms of fluid narratives, as suggested by Massimo's text on
eXpanded Design.

All these are scenarios in which multiple subjects become new forms of
collaborative, fluid publishers, whose books take the forms of communication
platforms animating cities, bodies, objects, networks, relations, databases
and uniting them into a multiplicity of discourses which we access and
embody using interfaces of constantly mutating types.

In this research domains entirely new languages and symbolic grammars can be
created according to various processes.

Citing Massimo:
"Digital cultures and ubiquitous ethnographies applied to *eXpanded design*
are producing an *augmented* *story-telling* along the labyrintic fluxus of
contemporary communicational metropolis. Spontaneous designers may be
connecting different metropolitan chronotopies through street attractors,
fetish metamorphosis, aiku images, walking desires, eroptical insights,
sonic fictions, mutant spaces, and plot of identities."

The idea of illiteracy itself, suggested by our friend and colleague
Jennifer, can be reframed into a much wider context in which technologies,
interfaces, ethics and universal designs merge on top of bodies and on ideas
of cities and other spaces.

We are all neo-illiterate, now, as we are inventing new codes right now.

this is a great opportunity to confront current critical social and
anthropological situations, as creating new opportunities for re-encoding
the world (creating new, fluid languages, grammars and accepted symbolic
contexts) offers new opportunities to create more tolerant, accessible,
communicative, informed, open, interactive societies and environments and
networks of relations.

Mark Billinghurst, for example, is one really interesting researcher
investigating excellent uses of Augmented Reality in education and cultural
practices, even assessing issues such as disabilities and illiteracy,
promoting knowledge environments that go beyond "ordinary" writing and use
natural and tangible interfaces to learn and communicate.

Or even our (at FakePress) Conference Biofeedback project: we used an
entertaining metaphor (the "war on boring conferences") to enact models for
collaboration and interaction that are focused on publishing (meaning
selecting, designing, producing, and disseminating information) emotional
connections in very networked, tolerant ways, transforming the
mono-directionality or few-directionality of multiple human practices into a
place for free, accessible, augmented human expression.

In just a bit our colleagues will continue with our statements.

in the meanwhile, i suggest you also take a look at our evolving interface
(please let me know if something does not work correctly) to suggest
interventions and possibilities for this first step of the experiment, so
that we will able to quickly proceed to its next step, featuring the
tangible interface which we will all be able to use.

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