Ottina I Read 48.pdf - According to Henk Oosterling a...

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Unformatted text preview: ' According to Henk Oosterling, a philosopher and associate Rotterdam, “W is like a sixteenth- 121). Curate a portion of it for us. 48 Jumping Frames David Ottina 533 words | 2:05 mins My experience of reading is dominated by the experience of browsing the web. i mean~ der, dipping into conversations then jumping out to essays. sometimes settling into books. Yet ultimately it is a linear way of reading and although it may branch, the path I follow is only visible to me from ground level. l think this is changing though. I Every word that travels through the Internet is parsed and stored. Every touch sensed and recorded. Every connection routed and logged. We are identified and located. Our meanings and moods are derived and noted. Profiles are built. Our relationships are graphed and analyzed. Histories are compiled. As we read, so we are read. The question is what sorts of texts are heing written with thesa traces? Who are their authors? Who are their readers? And how are they being read? We can think oithe authors ofthese computed texts as the people who write the algorithms that set the conditions of narrative possibility. Rather than writing the stories themselves, they simply create the frames in which stories can occur. The readers are the ones who extract the narratives from this muitidimensional space to create 'a coherent story. The creative role of the reader has of course been theorized, but for these sorts of texts, it‘s an imperative. The reader comes to the foreground while authorship recedes into the shadows, a purely technical function. These texts are read in the hopes of monetizing our every communication, of securing a perpetual rent on culture. As long as the texts are created for exploitation and control, it seems unlikely they will lead to new understandings of ourselves. in this context, the sociai can only be cast in the image of the individual, like the aggregate figure in the frontispiece oi Leviathan. However, algorithmic authorship and creative readership can be put to other uses. What interests me is the potential of multidi- mensional texts. The ability to read/see a text through multiple contexts at once. The chance to try out different frames. The opportunity to see discourses from a perspective other than ground level. Such a thing is difficult to envi— .,; ,5. professor at Erasmus University century collection of knick—knacks” (I Read Where IAm, sion, but it can be analogized to the current media implosiom‘genre explosion. Digitization undoes the materiality sepa- rating media, collapsing them into one, multi— faceted medium. This, in turn, erodes the barriers under which genres have developed. All of a sudden we are free to mix genres, causing an explosion of possibilities. Through the same kind of move, barriers between texts/readers can also be eroded. Of course we can and do mix contexts and jump _ frames with texts already, but the process is ' laborious and difficuit. This is compounded by the fact that our discursive traditions make transcending disciplines near impos— sible. Computational media have the poten- tial to make such frame jumping easier, to become a normal part of reading. What would such networked texts look like if not framed by the conditions of capital, but by free and. open cultural production? One certain outcome would be the massive proliferation of frames that flow from the diversity that openness invites. Might we see another image of ourselves in this process, not as an aggregation of individuals but as a social entity? David Gttina is an interaction designer, tree culture advocate, and a couintznder oi Qpen Humanities Press. ...
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