Tuesday, July 8, 2003


Via nettime, Mapping territory by Rob van Kranenburg

Postmodern theory, open source coding and multimedia channeling promised the production of a new, hybrid space, only to deliver the content convergence of media channels. And yet, I claim that we are in the progress of witnessing the realization of such a new space. In places where computational processes disappear into the background - into everyday objects - both my reality and me as subject become contested in concrete daily situations and activities. Buildings, cars, consumer products, and people become information spaces by transmitting all kinds of data through Radio Frequency Tags that are rapidly replacing the barcode. We are entering a land where the environment has become the interface, where we must learn anew how to make sense.

As 'nature' and 'technology' become hybrid spheres, people become 'tags', or ghosts. What is the role and place of design in these information spaces that are mediated with computational processes that generate not data (linked to other data) - the kind of communicative process that we are familiar with - but information (linked to other information)? The design challenge lies in confronting the move from interaction as a key term to resonance as an interpretative framework. Resonance refers most aptly to the way we relate to things, people, ideas in a connected environment. Interaction presupposes an ideal setting, agency and response. But mediation -the core business of interaction - is no longer a relationship. It has become the default position. The role of design lies in making visible what is not visible as such, creating seismographs - ways of reading the flowing surface realities of both digital and analogue data - ways of reading them, as they will surely read us.

Hmm. I sense common interests.


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