I think in week 3 we’ll start to explore the visual. I’m looking forward to it but looking back has made me think just how textual my interactions have been to date.

Today is the start of a more multimodal lifestream:

YouTube Preview Image

My intention is to make – or to share – some images or videos this week which I’ll use to make some kind of comment about digital culture and my participation in it. Thinking about Jen and Sian’s curating metaphor got me thinking about a book I love by Jon McGregor called So many ways to begin. The main character’s a curator and each chapter has, almost as epigraph, the decription of some object of significance. In one chapter, for example, it’s the torn photograph of a father recently returned from the war, which speaks of the family disturbances of this ’stranger’ re-entering the settled dynamic of family life after 2-3 years on the field.

I want to find or make something that plays a similar role in illustrating or opening up wider issues about the digital. Today’s example – a quick video made on my phone about a bowl made of an old vinyl LP – sort of hints at what I want to do. Records, and the physical gestures associated with then – e.g removing record from sleeve, reading sleeve notes, placing on turntable and lowering arm and stylus onto the vinyl – have now pretty much passed into history. They were a big part of my memories of being a teenager and the bands I loved when younger, first girlfriends etc.. Now it’s just a novelty item playing on my own sentimental nostalgia.


  1. sian October 5th, 2009 9:44 am Reply

    This made me wonder. You say the analogue no longer has a role, except as aesthetic (and maybe nostalgic), but isn’t it also formative – I mean in that it shapes our expectation of the digital much as the bowl is shaped (and in a way which is similarly ’strange’)?

    I’m also very impressed by the cleanliness and order of your kitchen : )

  2. Tony McNeill October 5th, 2009 10:04 am Reply

    Yes, you’re right. I meant as a functional, physical object the record’s role as media or data storage device is over (ok, I know there are serious vinyl fans and still a few record shops left). Their future, as a physical artefact, is likely to be decorative. Interestingly, I think Steve Jobs is keen to reinvent the album cover and cover art is a more prominent feature in recent releases of iTunes. BTW, I cleaned that corner of the kitchen specially LOL!

  3. jen October 10th, 2009 8:43 am Reply

    Another repurposed analogue artefact – seems like a music theme here… http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/10/view/7343/brian-dettmer-cassette-tape-skeletons.html

  4. Tony McNeill October 11th, 2009 4:13 pm Reply

    I love it – I want one for living room. Another vanitas theme – technology also mortal?

  5. Pingback December 14th, 2009 12:08 am

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