15.620 images in and beyond editions

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty (w.mccarty@btinternet.com)
Date: Tue Apr 30 2002 - 02:24:09 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 620.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 07:19:49 +0100
             From: Matt Kirschenbaum <mgk3k@jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU>
             Subject: Re: 15.614 advice for an online edition, plus another query

    > Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 09:08:20 +0100
    > From: Willard McCarty <w.mccarty@btinternet.com>
    > >
    > Robert Knapp's query leads me to another: in electronic editions these
    > days, what role is imaging tending to play, and how are images integrated
    > into the overall design? My question is in part provoked by a remark Jerry
    > McGann makes at the end of Chapter 2 in Radiant Textuality: that the actual
    > implementations of the theoretical designs in our current online archives
    > are anything but decentred. He says that "a major part of our future work
    > with these new electronic environments will be to search for ways to
    > implement, at the interface level, the full dynamic -- and decentering --
    > capabilities of these new tools" (p. 74). How are images being used toward
    > this end?
    > Yours,
    > WM

    Of course there's no essential link between images and
    "decentralization." The Blake Archive (www.blakearchive.org), which we
    like to call "image-based" (because images are at the functional center
    of both the interface and the project's editorial method) is _very_
    hierachical. That hierarchy is a function of the DynaWeb software we
    currently use to deliver the Archive online, but also of Blake's own
    publishing technologies (multiple impressions printed from a master
    plate, multiple copies of a single "book").

    The real question is, "Decentralization, to what end?" I think the place
    we'll begin seeing this is not in documentary settings such as the Blake
    Archive, but rather in the realm of visualization. See, for example,
    www.textarc.org, which debuted a week or two ago. There decentering the
    text has heuristic value. There is also much relevant work in the
    digital arts community; the Artbase at rhizome.org is a good place to
    start, and I've long believed that computing humanists have much to
    learn from the kinds of explorations gathered there. Matt

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