Deep Sites Intelligent Innovation in Contemporary Web Design
by Max Bruinsma
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Not often does a book successfully bring together issues in critical net cultures with rigorous analysis of compelling web design. Max Bruinsma with his "Deep Sites" provides us with countless in-depth case studies throughout the five segments of the book: Interface, Typography, Animation, Community and Authoring.
Cultural theory meets thoughtful analysis of design concepts in its techno-discursive context. Here design is not understood as shallow commercial interface powered by ever more forceful programming magic. The spectrum of reviewed sites reaches from canonical web-based art and personal homepages to community pages.
Bruinsma describes how web designers reconsider their position as editors of content, "editing and designing become deeply collaborative efforts." Here, for instance, Roland Barthes' notion of the reader as writer of the text is brought in. Other close readings of web initiatives are linked to notions by theorists reaching from Peter Lunenfeld to Friedrich Kittler whose Gramophone, Film, Typewriter, according to Bruinsma "broadens Foucault's discourse theory on textual archives into a wider media band, incorporating phonographic and cinematic data streams and undermining the hegemony of literary writing."