The Post-Digital Week – 25 Mar
This week people have been hybridising: mixing visual cues of the past and future, job roles with one another and life with death…
Dan Dixon posted a much-Tweeted post, in which he dug into the concepts underlying post-digital:
My simplest explanation however, now that I’ve had a little time to think about it, is that post-digital is when the categories of digital and non-digital become meaningless. There is a point where the two so thoroughly infuse each other that they are not two separate domains. I.e. that there is no sense in talking about digital media and non-digital media when they are all now just media. Digital production techniques so thoroughly infuse what might be seen as traditional media, that it is not the same anymore. The digital is now already there, not becoming, and false binaries keep us in the past, if they even ever existed as clear dualities. And this extends to cover synonymous debates such as virtual vs real or online vs physical. These are all already hybridised.
I like this concept of hybridisation of ideas being a significant step along the journey. one million signs takes the idea and runs with it, exploring how you can spring from ideas of the past to create visual clues of the future:
What this really got me thinking about is this notion of carrying over instincts and behaviours from the old way of doing things. I’m forever debating this issue as a graphic designer; using the vernacular of the past to describe the current. Or. Using the vernacular of the present to introduce the future.
And that hybridisation might extend to people's roles within an organisation, as Matt Nelson explores for Fast Company:
Well, it’s mostly an organizational problem. In the post-digital age, everyone’s roles are blurred and traditional agency conventions are being challenged to keep pace with ever-changing client demands. We can no longer continue to apply old methodologies to an evolving new-media landscape. We need to get acclimated with operating in a state of chaos.
(That's also the obligatory Mad Men-related link, to make its return…)
Architizer is exploring the nature of the museum in the post-digital age:
Philadelphia-based duo Megawords is broaching the topic of the post-digital museum with an installation currently on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the PMA, the duo turned a dark alcove that once housed an ATM and a payphone into a carefully-curated book and ‘zine store. In an adjoining space, previously used as green room, Megawords installed a reading lounge with pillows and chairs perusing the materials on display – complete with a soundtrack played through a speaker on the floor. According Anthony Smyrski, who makes up one half of the Megawords team, their work is concerned primarily with “the activation of unused space” within cultural institutions.
And, on a cheerful note to end the week – is that what post-digital death might look like? (I'm not mocking, actually – as digitally moderated relationships become as intrinsic to our lives and physically moderated one, the issue of digital mourning is complex).