Polymorphous Perversity and Texts

Distributed Cognition: David


Part of my interest in texts, even ostensibly static texts, as interactive objects grows out of research I'm doing on how people use texts in their workspaces. In the video clip above, disc jockey and reporter David Sommerstein at North Country Public Radio works his Friday afternoon world music show, The Beat Authority, sorting through CDs and an iPod for a next track to cue up. During the hour and forty-five-minute show, Sommerstein is in constant motion, moving from stacks of CDs to the audio mixer to the phones, ping-ponging back and forth among those items as well as two computer systems and a microphone.

Text as performance, as distributed cognition. Thinking with things.

Or, increasingly, things are thinking with us, following us to detect trends in our interactions, our purchases, our interests, waiting to step forward to offer us something, such as ads targeted to our needs and wants.