Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Machin-ery: Thoughts on Form and Content in the Digital World
Dada Typo is an umbrella in the rain of a digital renaissance. This is what poets say: it translates itself into innumerable languages and a self-fulfilling prophecy of your own desires. Dada Typo is a means to the end of imagination. Never content with simple mastery of a minor arsenal of technological gizmos, we reinvent ourselves with every step of progress and carry rearview mirrors to maintain a sense of lineage with history. We are not authoritative but speak with authority; we can help you do the same. The breadth of the world increases daily despite the constant ratio of pi and the rigid logic of modus ponens. It takes a world-wise and street savvy practitioner of communicative mysteries to maintain the delicate balance between the determined voice of the speaker and the doubtless wit of the audience, never captive but restless and demanding. Dada Typo is the archetypical circus seal juggling semiotic beach balls: entertaining at the very least, but also demonstrating incredible levels of competent complexity. We are multi-dimensional and can't agree upon the definition of dimensions. We can be linear without forgetting how to run in circles. Efficient without wishing to spare the effervescence of the sheer luxury of life. We quite like red roses. We like black roses also. In the end, a long conversation with us will leave you sleeping a little bit less, happily, caught up in the contemplation of words you never thought existed, but have always understood.
These images and text are from a design company based in Baltimore. I ran across them looking at the Situationist website
for Alex's and my class "Language: Most Dangerous of Possessions." Travis suggested that after reading McLuhan's "The Medium is the Massage" we might read Guy Debord's "The Society of the Spectacle," a 1960's radical text about an age "which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original." The website was designed by
and felt like one good resolution of the tension set up by the machine as it deals with and determines content.
As an example of a productive and human interdisciplinary response to problems of design, it may be as good as it gets.