Journey of a Book: The New Media Reconstruction of a Novelistic Memoir

By Peter Dallow.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper provides an account of some of the conceptual factors of transposition and visualisation involved in bringing a book into a new media framework. What do we know about what we are doing when we move print works, books, into the new media? As Marshall McLuhan observed, we tend to plunge into new media, in our enthusiasm for the new, while actually looking into the rear vision mirror, taking the things we know and love with us, without thinking too much about what the new medium is. In transposing older print media material into the online media spaces, what kind of new cultural models are posited by giving new ‘exploded’ forms to older print media works in the new digital networked media? This broad conceptual territory is developed through a case focus on a project taking a novelistic memoir, Journey to Horseshoe Bend (1969), by T.G.H. Strehlow, and digitally refracting its form and latent content within the mutable architectures of online media.
Funded by the Australian Research Council and Northern Territory Government, the Journey to Horseshoe Bend digitisation project is producing a fully searchable and standardised (TEI) digital edition of the text that will make the book more widely available to a contemporary readership, and utilises this encoded text to open up its subject matter of indigenous and settler cultures to a wider public through a network of textual, visual and audio-visual materials held in public archives, libraries and museums, especially those of the Strehlow Research Centre in Alice Springs, Central Australia.
The paper crosses from practice, through practice-based research, to a more theoretical analysis of the new media framework, based upon its intimate engagement with the text.

Keywords: New Media, Transposition, Online, Digital Edition, Exploded Forms, Hypertextual

International Journal of the Book, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 573.130KB).

Dr. Peter Dallow

Lecturer, School of Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Peter Dallow teaches in the School of Communication Arts at the University of West Sydney. He works and researches across a number of media and art forms, is a member of an ARC funded team working on the Strehlow Journey to Horseshoe Bend project, and the UNESCO funded international DiverCities intercultural dialogue project. His most recent publications are the paper Mediatising the Web: The New Media Modularity and Extensibility in the Journal of Media Practice 8(3) 2007 (UK), and the book chapter The Visual Complex: Mapping Some Interdisciplinary Dimensions of Visual Literacy in the Routledge (US) anthology Visual Literacy, edited by James Elkins, 2008. He also writes fiction.

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