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November 6, 2007 / davebirss

Another piece of wonderful stuff from Jonathan Harris

I’ve loved everything I’ve seen from Jonathan Harris. So I was delighted to find another nugget of goodness from him today. It’s called ‘Universe’. It’s based on constellations in the night sky – but instead of showing join-the-dots images of ancient Greek myths, it does the same with today’s news. It’s a fantastic way of navigating big news stories and seeing how they relate. Switch off all the lights and gaze in wonder here:

Universe by Jonathan Harris

2 Comments

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  1. Simon Palmer / Nov 7 2007 7:15 am

    Revealing our modern mythology? I don’t think so. Another example of pointless media mystification dressed up as insight? Erm, yes. Not only is this sort of thing not profound, it’s also very stale.

    I’ve never come across Jonathan Harris’s work before but I’ve seen it a thousand times…

    The cliches of digital interactivity (orbiting, flocking, exploding, bouncing) pretending to construct (or deconstruct) communities. Confessions/anxieties/therapeutic pep talks added to the wall as noise. This from wefeelfine.org:

    i received my reiki attunement i was already detoxed and feeling energy i just needed the mental framework of reiki to understand it and put it to use

    2 minutes ago / from someone

    It’s not unreasonable to ask – who are you? Why are you telling me this? The answer seems to be; it doesn’t matter, just click on another ball.

  2. Damien Parsonage / Nov 13 2007 1:28 pm

    Why would you expect profound insight from the citizen-journalist model? The wisdom of crowds is a happy-clappy, hippy myth.

    wefeelfine.org sums it up perfectly. This is digital democracy in action for you: style over substance; amateurism over expertise; opinion over fact; feeling over reason.

    As usual, The Simpsons managed to sum it up perfectly. In Fraudcast News, Mr Burns buys up all the newspapers in town to control his image. But Lisa starts her own, and soon inspires many of the residents of Springfield to do the same. “See Lisa,” observes Homer, “instead of one big-shot controlling all the media, now there’s a thousand freaks Xeroxing their worthless opinions.”

    The last communication revolution – the printing press – led to the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the scientific advances that have helped us lead the longest, safest, healthiest lives in human history. The digital communication revolution, I fear, seems to be heading us straight back into the dark ages.

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