rosa b. 03.13.2008, 7:48 AM
posted by dan visel
A quick note to point out Rosa B, a new online publication in French and English from the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art Bordeaux and the Bordeaux School of Fine Arts. Their first issue, online now, is about contemporary publishing and edited by the very interesting Thomas Boutoux. More of an art slant than a business one, but the features would probably interest readers of this site: an interview with Stuart Bailey of dot dot dot and Dexter Sinister about his publishing and design-related activities; novelist and critic Matthew Stadler talks about the social space of reading; and a nicely excerpted bit of Friedrich Kittler's Gramophone, Film, Typewriter, which has been out in English translation for a while but could stand more readers.
Worth noting as much as the content is the form: Rosa B. is clearly designed for online reading, and takes advantages of the affordances of the web; it's nice to see texts on reading that have been designed by someone who thinks about how they'll be read. Texts overlap and intersect with other texts and illustrations; long filmed interviews mix with text amiably.
jeff drouin on March 13, 2008 10:50 AM:
The layering reminds me of synthetic Cubist collage, particularly ones in which bits of newspaper are layered with fragments of drawing and other materials. I suppose that might be an easy connection for a French art institute to make. What's fascinating, though, is that the visual layering at Rosa B makes reading the various components of a mutimedia article easier, whereas Cubist collage was intended, I think, to problematize the reading of the object. I don't mean that Cubism was difficult for its own sake, but that it wanted to shock readers/viewers out of their habitual modes so they'd form a differently conceived understanding of the object. The digital medium is more malleable in that you can see through to the individual elements of the digital-page collage and bring them out in their entirety while keeping the whole in sight.
I was going to say something else about how Cubist explorations of the material media paved the way for these kinds of digital media, but that's a huge historical generalization to make and for some reason this is sounding really trite to me. I feel like there's a LOT more to say but it's not coming out at the moment. Oh well.