During our introductory session on Open and Social Media we were asked to check the internet for examples of post digital publications. Still confused as to what they actually were I started searching and came across some very interesting data. The mere title ‘Post Digital’ is enough to send one into a whirlwind of thoughts. Don’t we live in a digital era? Isn’t everything today digital? So what does post digital really mean?
Lorusso (n.d.) in his archive abstract explains that “The post-digital mindset”allows a more inclusive research framework of the publishing field, in which e-books and book-apps aren’t the only object of study and where “old” and “new” media are not in a natural opposition. In the field of post-digital publishing, printed matter doesn’t belong to the past and digital tools are not inherently innovative. Artists and designers seamlessly shift between blogs and stapled zines. The digital environment is at the same time a source of inspiration, a repository of raw data to filter and organize, a channel for collaboration or dissemination, a space for exposure, a mix of communication modes to exploit, a set of tools to tweak or to autonomously build”.
I find the entire concept very interesting because using say a traditional written book in the context of the digital era seems intriguing and bemusing all at the same time.
While searching for post digital publications I came across one that I found particularly amusing. The one I’ve chosen as my favourite example is titled Greetings From the Internet by Aram Bartholl. Over a period of a few years the author has been collecting found Wi-Fi passwords in public places like restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores etc through photographs. In most public places today Wi-Fi is available and is free of charge. Although more often than not a password is required to connect to the internet (Bartholl 2013). The author has focused his work on these Wi-Fi passwords found either hand-written or stuck on some board. The reason I found this particular publication so intriguing is because it highlights the era we are currently living in. The internet at one point was considered a luxury and was only used by the military and the NASA. But today it’s treated as a necessity. It’s something we have all seen. Rather, it’s something we have all experienced. Going to a restaurant with your friends/ family and asking the steward for the Wi-Fi password. Sounds familiar right? We choose to communicate with people over the internet rather than the ones we’re sitting with (Bartholl 2013).
This was the thought-process behind the authors publication and I think his idea of choosing postcard photography has a captivating effect on the audience.
- Bartholl, A. (2013) Greetings From the Internet Postcard Series [online] available from <http://datenform.de/greetings-from-the-internet.html > [25 January 2016]
- Lorusso, S. (2014) Post Digital Publishing Archive [online] available from <http://p-dpa.net/work/greetings-from-the-internet/ > [25 January 2016]
- Lorusso, S. (n.d.) Abstract of Post Digital Publishing Archive [online] available from <https://ia600509.us.archive.org/15/items/p-dpa_booklet/p-dpa_booklet.pdf > [25 January 2016)