Like Pearls by Morehshin Allahyari is an animated and interactive mash-up of the Farsi spam Allahyari receives in her mailbox.
The two editors of this book define blogging as a “cultural seismograph” – a fascinating definition, looking at the regular activity of cultural blogging not as a constant production of quality content, but as a pulsating generator of stimuli, able to trigger reactions and events just with the power of being published online (and there’s an interesting similarity with what the international zine community was considered able to do from the seventies to the early nineties). The blogging phenomenon has been analyzed many different times, especially in the second half of the two-thousands, just after the boom of a few popular blogging platforms with tens of thousands of occasional writers, but this is the first investigation of blogging about art and culture accomplished through a simple but effective methodology: interviewing the bloggers. In this way, issues, action plans, sustainability, successes, failures, and more important, the spirit of caring about regularly producing sense, emerge from the question and answers scheme. This practice, like in the exemplar case of Régine Debatty, can become a profession, or can just be collateral to other activities, but it always relates to “publishing” in the most genuine spirit, or trying not to “inform”, but to critically “share”. The cross-references that each of the interviewees establish describes a different subset of the web, partially personal but with a substantial, reactive and essential audience. The book is also available as a freely downloadable pdf.