Recently I had a conversation with someone about how they found a significant-others book collection impressive. They were amused and drawn in by the fact that this other person had books they really wanted to read.

‘Based on Jungian notions, (Cooper) shows a home as the place where individuals feel in the center of their own self-constructed universe, at which point their identity becomes indistinguishable with the things chosen to symbolize it.’

Books like most things and stuff we own act as signifiers of who we are as user-identities, social differentiation, content of communication & material support for social relationships. (Krippendorf, 1989) Or who we pretend to be (Russell Davies). This significant-other was communicating through their collection their identity, (accurate or not), things that this person could relate to and was infact interested in. In a digital space with digital books this changes. So who are we then?

In the spirit of being somewhat nomadic of late and my worship at the church of dematerialisation and minimalism many of my books, films & music are now invisible to a visitor to my home as the exist on my iPad or in the cloud only.

Obviously we build online presence through avatars, flickr, the book of faces and inane wittering in twitter but some of the most potent signifiers of who we are in the physical world are disappearing into the digital. I’m wondering how these signifiers will manifest in the Internet of Things?


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