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Out of Print

An interactive installation explores information overload in the digital age

by Maggie Roush Mead in Design on 19 September 2012

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Most of us can relate to the feeling of walking away from a heavy web browsing session feeling dazed, empty-headed, and no better informed than when we sat down. Addressing the paradox of information overload, three London-based designers—James Cuddy, Roma Levin and Danilo Di Cuia—are exploring our modern-day dependence on online newsfeeds with an interactive installation that links digital news to its printing press roots.

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Visitors to "Out of Print," a part of Brompton Design District, are invited to use an application built by the designers that generates a seemingly random headline from current digital news feeds. The user-generated headlines are then hand-printed on a letter press built by a team of design students and faculty from London's Goldsmiths College. While the vocabulary in each headline is familiar, the headlines themselves are abstract, bewildering and sometimes cryptic. The designers have suggested that the distorted nature of the headlines mirrors the confusion and lack of engagement of digital news consumers.

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The hand-printed headlines are then strung on the wall as part of the exhibition. Meanwhile, the digital versions are broadcast to the world through the Twitter handle @outofprintbot. Some comical examples from the day include "Giant Panda Is Nuclear," "Who Produces the Emotions," "Obama Bought Her" and "Sacred Elephants Reveals You."

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"Out of Print" can be viewed at 4 Cromwell Place through 23 September 2012. The show is supported by Goldsmiths College, Alchemy API and GF Smith Paper.

Images by Karen Day and courtesy of Out of Print

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