Yuri Suzuki / Platform Problems

It's tough when talking about the written word to gain a perspective on how the formatting change to digital is affecting it. Not only is it a current phenomena that we have no hindsight on, but the written word has never changed format before. For 500 years it sat printed on paper and bound together on the left side and it's only the last twenty years that digitisation, and text as the core medium of digitisation - from coding to hypertext - has become a reality.

With other media, video and sound for instance, it's easy to make guesses and draw parallels on how format change effects the nature of that medium. They change format every few years and as such have become more malleable as media. Music has adapted from concerts to mp3 by switching from vinyl albums to singles and so guesses can be drawn about future formats.

So when thinking about text, one has to analogise accross the other two key media and try and draw conclusions about what may happen to text. But the very fact that text hasn't changed in 500 years makes it hard to envision how it will now when it has survived so long.

That's why it was interesting to see one of Yuri Suzuki's projects; the analog-digital disc. It combines a CD on one side with a playable vinyl on the other playing the same tune. It's a simple idea and not TOTALLY up to date in that, in current format, some sort of vinyl/mp3 hybrid would be necessary. But it's interesting to consider how a crossover between hypertext and printed text might work.