There is something inherently temporary about digital media. It’s just 1’s and 0’s organised in a particular way for a particular moment, and it’s all too easy to press Delete, wipe the slate clean, and start all over again. So it’s nice to see something that emphasises the permanent and physical nature of communications –the printing of actual ink onto actual paper by an individual with a creaky wooden printing press. Which is just what a group of design students at Goldsmiths College have done on the above video.
They take it a step further, and their project ‘Out of Print’ is not just about the beauty of ink on paper, but I think it’s also saying something about the impermanence of news headlines and the way the news washes over us, becoming almost meaningless. They describe project as an answer to media ‘saturation’:
With the growth of digital media we are faced with unprecedented levels of data. We now find ourselves at a saturation point. By attempting to consume ever more, we end up understanding less.
In this context, news and media are becoming redefined to fit our shortened attention spans. How do we make sense of all the information we consume and not get lost in the process?
What do you think? I can definitely identify with the feeling of information overload, and to see it so lovingly reproduced in ink-and-paper somehow draws our attention to it more than a busy webpage ever could. Either way, it’s a lovely video, and a project worth checking out.