Sometimes the online world reveals unsuspected parallel dimensions. This is an unknown restyle of Neural independently (and secretly as we never knew about it) made by NY-based Motion and Graphic Designer, Clarke Blackham. Very nicely made, perhaps only a bit glossier for the magazine’s line, it testifies once more how even your most familiar outcomes can have another life somewhere else.
University Of Minnesota Press, ISBN-13: 978-0816694419, English, 240 pages, 2015, USA
We can attempt a definition of “information overload” as a perceived disproportion between the quantification of the information we ingest and our capacity to metabolise it. Clearly this is not something necessarily related to digital media, as it has been experienced in our analogue and mechanical past, arguably at every major change in the mediascape. Nonetheless, the often-touted acceleration imposed by the digital has triggered a different scale, as the ‘big data’ concept easily proves. How to compensate for this disproportion? Stephens proposes that we use signs against signs, where, to paraphrase McLuhan all we do now can be reduced to “rubbing information against information”. He intertwines avant-garde poetry since 1900 with its relationship to rapidly changing media, appropriating and transforming the new information pace through its own literary strategies. The result is enthralling and rigorous, taking the reader through a long enjoyable path of cross references, poetry and inspired visions which, (un)surprisingly, sound ultra-modern most of the time. Furthermore, the different forms of conceptual writing seem to assume the form of cultural antibodies, designed to cure information overload, processing concepts through the incredible power of language, especially in its visual poetic forms. De-contextualising a quote Katherine Hayles, Stephens’ book seems to argue that “if we can become the information we have constructed, we can achieve effective immortality.”