Tagged: analog

Please vote for the panel that Will Burdette (U Texas at Austin) and I have proposed for the 2012 SXSW Interactive festival .  Our description follows (click to go to the SXSW voting site):

It’s common to call the printing press revolutionary. But the printing press did not eliminate handwriting. To this day, we have Moleskine notebooks, Post-It Notes, hipster PDAs. Similarly, the digital revolution will not kill print. We still buy books online and mark them up with pencils and highlighters. Pens are still more ubiquitous than digital mobile apps. People pay for photographic prints to hang on their fridges and walls. Bookstores do not merely exist; they legitimate neighborhoods. Every coffee shop has a bulletin board full of printed posters. Instead of predicting “The Future of Print in the Digital Age,” this panel celebrates the present of print, and focuses on emerging print-digital hybrids. The panel consists of a printer, a couple of scholars, a poster distributor, and a print photographer who started a photo booth. Together we will explore projects that capitalize on the permeability of the boundaries separating manual, print, and digital realms.

Questions that the panel will address include:

  1. What does the history of print suggest about the present of print?
  2. What economic factors are shaping print presently?
  3. What challenges and affordances are offered by the production and distribution of printed products?
  4. What does the printed photo offer to an instagram world?
  5. What print/digital hybrids are emerging to question the print/digital divide?

My own presentation will focus upon the ongoing symbiosis between analog and born-digital maps and mapping technologies.

SXSW does require you to register in order to vote, but it’s quick and painless. So, please vote for our panel, and vote early and often (seriously).

Detail of US Occupation Map of Fukushima, Japan

When I started college I had to hand draft all of my papers.  I couldn’t seem to generate text sitting at the computer.  Invention stalled.  That began to change towards the end of my undergrad years.  Now I can’t imagine drafting by hand.  It’s a thought that makes my spine squirm.

But I have found that, especially towards the end of a project, I have to pull back and see the whole thing at once, particularly for the purposes of moving text around within the article.  And I still need to be able to read the text.  The only obvious solution has been an analog one.  I tape up the pages, and start scribbling on them.  (see picture below) Makes me feel like a painter or something.  And I really enjoy working on finalizing articles this way. Though, if I’m working and my office door is open, students think I’ve lost my shit and am staring at the wall.  One asked me if I was OK the other day. (Incidentally, my grad students thought I had lost my shit yesterday when I played this video to make a point about how novice writers often, and mistakenly, perceive of insistence as a way to strengthen their arguments, and then, after a failed argument, how rhetorically savvy some students become when it comes time to worry about a grade.)

Despite all of the cool digital writing tools out there, I still haven’t found one that quite allows me to do this.  The picture below is of an article going out for review at the end of the day.  Sorry for the low resolution.  Thank Blackberry.

writing on the walls