Re-presenting

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I had some great email alerts today and willingly accepted them as delightful, valued pebbles.

All five items were a great way to start the day. Each of them encouraged me to think about re-presentation.

In brief …

Zoe discussed her delight in finding and enhanced eBook “an edition of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land designed for the iPad, jointly produced in 2011 by publisher Faber and Faber and digital publishing innovators Touch Press“.

There is some additional information about the enhanced eBook can be found here. I noted this observation:

The biggest challenge for the team was how to present the primary text on a digital screen and maintain the authenticity of an intimate reading experience. The central vision of keeping the poem in its purest form always at the heart of the interactive reading experience was the key drive for creating a spare and unobtrusive, yet deeply functional, user interface. The appropriateness of the solution is best captured by the New York Times review, ‘For all its accouterments, The Waste Land app honors the silence of the text itself, the silence that makes Eliot’s many voices in this poem so clearly audible.’

‘Authenticity’ was a focus of Jenny Davis’s post too. In her discussion of Richard Renaldi’s New York photography project, she suggests:

What if we re-imagined the social media platform not as a reflection of who we are, but of who we will be? Authenticity here is not found in the truthfulness or visibility of our deeply flawed characters, but rather, in the integrity of our intentions. The authentic social actor need not be a rugged outdoorsperson to post pictures of an off-trail hike, s/he must simply truly aspire to be the kind of person who completes such a hike.

Sadly, whilst imagining myself in New York and following up on a YouTube link about Richard’s project, I received this message:

Not

Thanks to Angela and her Storify record of We Are All Creators Now: Collections, Creation and Copyright I was off on another journey of re-imagining … and contemplating the curation of creativity as re-presentation. I had missed alerts to the day of exploration at the Powerhouse Museum that posed the questions:

What does creation look like in the digital era? Who are the creators? How do we interact with our cultural heritage? What roles do museums and collections have to play in the conversation? Is current intellectual property law a help or a hindrance?

Coloured butter sculptures

The story of Everpix’s demise was a sad reminder that creativity alone is no guarantee of success or longevity. Casey Newton pointed out that “In two short years, Everpix has gone from a dream shared by two French graphics experts to one of the world’s best solutions for managing a large library of photos”.

In a summary of lessons learned, Casey wrote:

The founders acknowledge they made mistakes along the way. They spent too much time on the product and not enough time on growth and distribution. The first pitch deck they put together for investors was mediocre. They began marketing too late. They failed to effectively position themselves against giants like Apple and Google, who offer fairly robust — and mostly free — Everpix alternatives. And while the product wasn’t particularly difficult to use, it did have a learning curve and required a commitment to entrust an unknown startup with your life’s memories — a hard sell that Everpix never got around to making much easier.

I thought Casey’s post was sensitive and considered. The re-presentation of a process from inspiration to closedown is very informative.

I concluded my morning reading with a visit to the Ontario Online Learning Portal’s discussion of a new pedagogy. I was particularly interested in the discussion of anywhere, anytime and any size learning. I noted too the discussion of self-directed and non-formal learning that makes use of free open educational resources and social networking and enables “large numbers of learners to access knowledge without the necessity for meeting institutional prior admission requirements, following a set course, or having a personal instructor”.

This took me back to Richard Renaldi’s project. Sean Levinson points out that Richard takes random people he meets on the street of New York City and asks them to pose in pictures together as if they were family members, friends or lovers. He adds “the subjects are only asked to look like they are showing a brief amount of affection, but the facial expressions and body language within the photos make it seem like these strangers not only know each other, but also share some sort of genuine bond”.

Sean’s observation that “this unorthodox recipe for truly magical moments speaks volumes about both art and humanity” gives us a new take on re-presentation and emergent learning.

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Photo Credits

email pebbles (Will Lion, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Coloured butter scultures (Powerhouse Museum, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Touching strangers Richard Renaldi 16 (Angs School, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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