Supported by the Danish Arts Council
Exploring new ways of digital reading
We are the northern group settling down in the beautiful Sasso Residency for the next four weeks. Our project explores new ways of digital reading. We consist of the initiators Matilde and Hanna and our collaborators Katrin and Solveig.
Matilde Maria Rasmussen (DK) is a part of the multi-disciplinary design studio All the Way to Paris based in Copenhagen. The studio practice explores an open-ended visual language within the fields of graphic design and large scale commissions.
Hanna Bergman (SE) is one half of the graphic design studio Bergman & Wibroe in Copenhagen. Hanna also initiated the project Incomplete Readings, working with a translation of a book structure from physical to a digital one. Her practice contains an ongoing investigation of reading.
We want to describe our project as a study in new ways of reading the digital book. We’ll be working on this digital book in an open-form and audio in this case will be in extension of reading. Many computer programs and user interfaces are using skeuomorphism to explain the function of reading and flipping through the book as we know it (Gutenbergs codex book). A bit differently but in the same manner we would like to explore audio to accompany a story told in still images or parts of a chosen text.
Adding dimensional values seems important for our ability to perceive the language-image-text that otherwise figures only as pure information (non-dimensional; declared through Flusser’s theory) on the digital screen. According to Nicholas G. Carr and his observations in the book The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains he claims that we are sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply in the digital age. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources.
We want to emphasize the importance of these remarks through our study.
This week our collaborators Solveig (editor) and Katrin (writer) joined us at the residency. We have been recording the surrounding nature and the human traces in Vairano. This surrounding nature linked with a text will be further developed during our stay.
Thank you for a lovely week!
Solveig Lindeskov Andersen (DK) works with education and communication in a Danish art museum. Her main interest is contemporary art, exploring how the inclusion of various elements in the presentation of visual art – science, literature, music – expands the viewers experience of the art work.
Katrin Svensson (SE) is a journalist who is currently furthering her studies in strategic communications. With a background in multi-platform journalism, and a passion for fictional writing, Katrin is particularly interested in exploring new ways of storytelling.
Excerpt from Chapter II
“You would come home after chatting with our new neighbors in the stairs. Your collection of maps would fit well in the bedroom; Beirut, Turkey, Queens, Cochabamba and Greenland. You are probably still searching for a perfect one of London? You always take your time. We could have a large room only for your machines and tables. An enormous cupboard for your material, like the mahogany and birch. When you are working I knock on the door and say: tea is ready.”
“By creating a future in her mind she regains control of reality, and Amin becomes a character that she can place. She talks to him silently, describes their life together in London and how they must have a bigger place where Amin can do his woodworking. She doesn’t know that he stopped doing that a year ago. Vera describes the beautiful things, the sound of the tablespoon in the coffee cup, him feeling proud of his hands because she thought they created very special things.”
We are back in Copenhagen to finalize the book. While producing the book we have been discussing a lot about physical nature and that of the abstractness of the digital world. And how we can convey this into new dimensions of digital reading to focus our attention. It was also a new experience for us to let form follow story telling trough images, audio and text. We are very excited to follow the programming phase and to see our short story in the right format on the web.
Our plan is to be presenting the project at a book- launch and talk in Copenhagen in January 2015. We’ll let you know when it’s getting closer.
Last but not least, we want to thank the great Sasso Residency and the lovely Family Rohner for your hospitality during our stay.