Red Thread

Before the Easter break, we had a different Tuesday lecture, taking place in the Humanities Library at UiB. We were to experience Zamora’s installation Textransformations which is both a sculpture and an interactive reading experience.

When I came up the stairs and noticed the red threads hung everywhere, I already knew what had been some of the inspiration for this piece. In January, I had been to KODE 2 in Bergen and seen Chiharu Shiota’s thread constructions. It was the same red thread hanging in the library, but it was easy to see that this wasn’t quite the same interpretation — Zamora’s work represented the transformation of textuality from analog to digital form.

Chiharu Shiota: Direction

Shiota’s installation reminds me of a red spiderweb, weaving together the old boats that used to be a well-used transportation option in Bergen. This because the boats are something that was so integrated in the lives of people who lived here, but now, they are just a forgotten memory because of new transport opportunities.

When experiences Textransformations, this was kind of the same feeling I got — though reinterpreted into textuality.

Mia Zamora: Textransformations

As seen in the picture above, the piece included old library cards, books, a book ladder, small drawers, QR codes and computers. Everything is tied together in the red thread which symbolizes the digital networks and shows how these have reorganized our experience of communication. 

The installation furthermore called for user interaction. The QR codes could be scanned and would take you to a quote for example, and the computers could be used for showing our #NetNarr network and how we are all tied together.

Mia Zamora: Textransformations

These objects that make the installation come to show how we usually organized knowledge and how we come to organize it today. I for one hadn’t really seen the library cards for such a long time. Everything today is organized in computer systems. This piece, therefore, also includes elements of the past — something forgotten that has been replaced by newer, faster, digital opportunities that have left the old objects somewhat purposeless.

This way of showing how we went from analog to digital and how everything now is connected via the invisible threads (done visible with these red threads) is very fascinating. It is something that otherwise is easily forgotten: where we came from, how things used to be. We integrate all kinds of digitalization into our lives and leave out the things we once were so dependent on. Now, what we are really dependent on is the digital — the networks, the devices, the opportunities that these offer.

I really enjoyed the installation and the fact that one could contribute to it and interact and engage with it. This further shows the network aspect of the piece. It was a very cool experience, a “blast from the past” and an eyeopener for me of how many small objects that have lost their purposes and have been set aside because of the digitalization of it.


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