explorations in the text(ure) of information: a deeper dive

so, like it says in my logo and elsewhere on this site, i intend to use this space to explore the “text(ure) of information.” i also said that i don’t know exactly what that phrase means yet, but that through the process of creating this site – of designing, writing, posting, coding, i plan to uncover the meaning of the phrase as it relates to my journey.

"texture of information" SERP
let’s start by talking about the phrase itself. first of all, i came up with “text(ure) of information” on my own. i didn’t “borrow” the phrase from anyone else (at least not consciously). interestingly, after googling the exact phrase (just moments ago), i learned how very unoriginal it is with 4,930 results attributed to it. but that’s ok. in fact, it’s more than ok, it’s actually pretty fabulous that the phrase has been used in so many different “texts” and “contexts” – from a manifesto on webimpressionism to a william gibson novel all tomorrow’s parties to an article which uses it to describe every-day social interactions.

i chose the phrase intuitively when considering possible taglines for my popupoems logo. i went with it because i liked popuppoems-logo-500-by-100the way it looked juxtaposed against the word popuppoems, aesthetics playing a heavy hand as it often does. i also liked the multiple meanings conjured with the spelling of “text(ure)” using the parenthesis, where the word “text” embedded with the word “texture”can (and should) be read as a nod to literary theory (a primary lens for this project) as well as a nod to the advent of SMS, now simply referred to as “texting” (which pretty much altered the landscape of communication, not unlike every technological advent that preceded it, although we won’t go down that road today).

now let’s take a look at the words that make up the phrase and why they work for me in the context of this project.

  • exploring. i don’t know about you, but when i think of the word “exploring” i think of adventure, freedom, risk, challenge. i think of someone out in nature, cutting through the bramble to clear a path just wide enough for walking, stopping to investigate the sights and sounds when that seems like the right thing to do to support learning, but not lingering too long with any one thing, because, after all, there is a lot to explore.
  • texture. i have a very visual representation of the word texture, kind of like the photos of the walls in my soon obsoleteproject. i think of surface and depth…dimension and colors…cracks, gaps and overlaps…organic growth from one thing to the next, blurring the boundaries until they are disguised but still visible, like a scar where the skin has healed over itself creating a palpable, visual reminder of transformation over time. 
    "texture" a visual rep
  • information. unlike the word “texture” for which i’m able to access understanding through a visual representation,  i find the word “information” to be a slippery slag, indeed. ever time i consider the definition of the word, i find myself at a loss for conveying anything relatively coherent. the word itself seems to float in the ether as an abstraction, signifying both too much and not enough. every now and again, i do my best to pull it down from “the cloud” into “real time” where i manipulate it into carrying meaning, if only for a fleeting moment. and it’s this process, the slipperiness of the word, the wrestling with meaning, that’s exciting to me. information is a word of possibility.


One reply to “explorations in the text(ure) of information: a deeper dive

  1. I just finished reading William Gibson’s novel “All Tomorrow’s Parties” (I finally understand why he named it after a Velvet Underground song. Humans, especially Judeo-Christian culture, have a tendency to always anticipate the edge of tomorrow, the end. Our world cultures reflect our ambition to “dress up” for futures that may never happen, or have already happened) I happened upon your site while reading reviews of that book. I really like the idea of the texture of information. It seems to be another interesting take on how technology shapes the world, and how we perceive it. My website, thisisnotapixel.com, is my twist on René Magritte’s “This Is Not a Pipe”. The pixels that make up today’s screens and phones are in fluid motion, sometime bigger resolutions and sometimes smaller. As you explore HTML and CSS (CSS in particular) you will find that making your websites eb and flow with varying display sizes is a nice challenge. Only 10 years ago, much simpler websites were designed to fit only on a desktop screen. In fewer words, the idea behind “This Is Not a Pipe”, along with the pixels on your screen, and, as you pointed out, information itself, are all ephemeral.


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