What are souvenirs now? I’m asking this as a result of spying on Microsoft’s Social Computing Symposium. Where James Bridle talked about Network Realism
At one point James suggests; ‘I don’t know what a physical souvenir of a digital experience is… Maybe books are the souvenirs of digital experiences?’ His fascination with souvenirs is interesting to behold on a digital-physical (transmedia) perpective.
Perhaps DVDs, CDs and Books are now physical souvenirs of digital experiences and infact this can be taken further by printing your avatar or generating things and stuff from your digital footprint. Which reminds me of reduced carbon footprint souvenir by Hector Serrano.
Hector pitches this as reduced carbon footprint souvenir which is beside the point, but perhaps there is merit in reconsidering the souvenir.
Souvenir (from French, for memory) was traditionally a physical object (frequently garish) brought home to remember travels. Now in the network, digital age perhaps the physical is less relevant. For me, the souvenir exists in the form of applications such as Foursquare, Dopplr & Flickr, digital logs, annotations permeated with location information and timestamps of my experiences and memories. These are my way of annotating and remembering the world in which I existed. These can be made physical: Map Girl strikes again.
Some people, I’m reliably informed, like to own things that exist in the real world so where does the physical meet the digital? Much exciting developments are emerging in this (IoT)space. The Tales of Things (TOTeM) connects ‘anything, with any media, anywhere’ using QR codes, augmenting the physical object with a digital footprint, letting it record its life with you. While Bookleteer are developing their tangible souvenir concept through Bookcubes and sensory threads.