Designing Culture – New Text – 1

The book I chose for this assignment is Designing Culture by Anne Balsamo. I chose this book since I was impressed by the reviews on Amazon which emphasized the deep connect between culture and technology. After doing some research online, I became completely in awe of  Anne Balsamo. As a new media theorist she does a thorough job of presenting her work.
I think as important as theory is in this field, it has to be backed by some sort of obvious practice. Anne Balsamo’s website related to this book is so very interesting. One can easily tell she spent a ton of time, creating a interactive Flash website. I often notice how few scholars, write heavily about technology, but they fail to invest time in their blogs or websites. Since this is a transmedia project, it makes sense to collectively read the print version of the book, and to go through the contents in the website as well. The website was a bit more interesting to me, as it kept me engaged the entire time.Below is an overview of the contents of the website:

Print:  This page has a brief introduction to the author, her research interests, and a brief description of the book.

DVD: The print version of the book is accompanied by a DVD, titled “Women of the World Talk Back”. This resource is on feminist activism, and how it is affected by multimedia.

Exhibits:  This is the most interesting page in the entire site. It has many interactive exhibits. And furthermore, it has a Marshall McLuhan analyzer, that presents the exhibit based on what he would have to say about it.

Wall:  This page has many interesting wall books, which take the user on a journey through the histories of reading. Again, the use of flash to build these pages is outstanding.

Maps: This page has a bunch of amazing mind maps, that present topics such as the museum, technology etc. It basically maps the technological imagination.

Videos: Here are a collection of videos, related to topics in the book. Some of them are created by Balsamo, but few of them are her selections of interactive applications.

Blog: Here Balsamo basically goes into length to discuss some key aspects of her book.

Below, is a presentation of Balsamo talking about the book a few weeks before it released. In the presentation she talks about the highly interesting subject of technology and culture by the numbers. She also focuses on the transmedia aspect of her project, and gives us a short introduction to the book. This video is worth a watch to get the author’s perspective and context of the book.

Balsamo, Anne. Designing Culture: The Technological Innovation at Work. Duke University Press, 2011. Print


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