[-empyre-] Writing Culture

Kenneth Newby States:

"Well I suppose we experience them as cultures in the sense that there are competing views as to what constitutes knowledge, meaning, valid methodologies, and valid research in the construction of these. We encounter issues where we seem to speak different languages and a considerable effort is required in translation."

I am very much interested in the art/science relation at the moment. It does take huge work to be able to talk across cultures. At Rhode Island School of Design where I am department head of Digital+Media, a graduate department that fosters such bridging, we try to enable bridging between many different disciplines and cultures. The proximity to Brown University also enables high level science collaboration.

The internet empowers one to do international research with top people around the globe. There are many many cultures, yet, we are at a moment in time where we can each contribute to the others potentials. For me it is worth the work in vocabulary building - exploring and developing bridging languages as I call them.

Susan Leigh Star and Geoffrey C. Bowker in their text Sorting Things Out: Classification and its Consequences, define the notion of the Boundry Object:

"Drawing from earlier studies of interdisciplinary scientific cooperation, we define boundary objects as those objects that both inhabit several communities of practice and satisfy the informational requirements of each of them. In working practice, they are objects that are able both to travel across borders and maintain some sort of constant identity. They can be tailored to meet the needs of any one community (they are plastic in this sense, or customizable). At the same time, they have common identities across settings. This is achieved by allowing the objects to be weakly structured in common use, imposing stronger structures in the individual-site tailored use."

--http://weber.ucsd.edu/~gbowker/classification/ "At this site, we present the introduction, first two chapters and concluding chapters of our book on classification systems published by MIT Press in 1999".

The questions we are asking in terms of creating intelligent new writing systems cross many domains and demands real collaboration ---

Professor Bill Seaman, Ph.D.
Department  Head
Digital+ Media Department (Graduate Division)
Rhode Island School of Design
Two College St.
Providence, R.I. 02903-4956
401 277 4956
fax 401 277 4966


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