11.0544 new book & CD

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Fri, 30 Jan 1998 15:56:18 +0000 (GMT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 544.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Wed, 28 Jan 1998 08:36:05 +0000
From: Willard McCarty <Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk>
Subject: Hiding

Many Humanists will, I think, be interested in a new book,
<cite>Hiding</cite> by Mark C. Taylor, just published by the University of
Chicago Press, and a parallel multimedia CD-ROM, <cite>The Réal, Las Vegas,
Nevada</cite> by Mark C. Taylor and José Márquez, published by the
Massachussetts Museum for Contemporary Art and the Williams College Museum
of Art. I have not yet seen either, but thanks to a well designed Web site, at
one can get a most intriguing taste. The site contains an interview with
Taylor in which he describes his work, and a brief essay by the designers of
the book. In the Library of Congress cataloguing information the book is
described as "religion and postmodernism", with the subject areas 1.
Surfaces (philosophy), 2. Postmodernism, 3. Philosophy. Taylor describes it
as interplay of surface and depth. It looks to me like the kind of thing one
gives up trying to describe, or circumscribe. Taylor says, "The argument
itself is layered; turning the pages is like peeling away layers of skin.
[Here a hypertextually linked verbal play on skin and bones.] Even single
pages are layered in ways that allow space for the reader's imagination to
play. Rather than a closed book, Hiding is designed to be an a kind of
interactive game."

Whether or not the book and CD are good, I get a whiff of something
important for the rapidly developing assimilation of computing into the
cultural mainstream, involving a large university press (to which
recognition is due for taking the risk), museums, a philosopher/theologian
(...?), and a most interesting assemblage of professional designers, artists
and technicians (who apparently worked largely for free or at a fraction of
their usual rate). Information on the makers/actors of the CD is given on a
linked Web site for the CD, at <http://motelreal.wcma.org/>.

Has anyone undertaken a serious review of this work?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dr. Willard McCarty, Senior Lecturer, King's College London
voice: +44 (0)171 873 2784 fax: +44 (0)171 873 5801
e-mail: Willard.McCarty@kcl.ac.uk

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