“i left this here for you to read” is the now defunct* brainchild of Tim Devin, a Boston-based conceptual artist and writer. The project involved the creation of a limited number of magazines, consisting of contributed works – writing, photos, poetry, etc. The ‘zines were then printed and left in public places. Contributors, myself included (I sent them a photo I took of a sea lion skull that I found attached to a decomposing sea lion carcass on a beach in northern California) received 2 copies. As I understand it, the project functioned in a similar way to the ds106 aggregation blog. Contributors would contribute works which would then be put on a password-protected blog. Other people would volunteer to select articles, photos, etc. from the blog, then lay out, assemble, print and distribute the issue.
I realize that many of the “artifacts” of a class like ds106 are screen only, but I am intrigued by the idea of an analog product of a digital storytelling class. It’s perhaps more accurate to say that I’m intrigued by larger issues of digital versus analog: things like augmented reality (Layar and its ilk), mobile analog/digital interfaces (QR codes, Google Goggles, etc.), circuit bending, chiptunes, even Arduino. There are lots of digital models of analog synthesizers, and there has likewise been a proliferation of analog control surfaces for digital experiences. Guitar hero indeed…
In the old days – and to an extent to this day, especially in education – to goal was to “make digital what was analog.” In large measure the concept of LMS is still mired in this impulse. As such, I find exciting the idea of making analog that which is natively digital. Imagine sitting down on a train and finding a paper copy of some of the (yet to be created) works of the ds106 community….
*The original concept is no longer in production, but the artist’s intent (as I read it) is to have others pick up the idea and run with it.