As I discussed in an earlier blog entry, I am interested in exploring cultural shifts in reading practices through an ecological lens. This includes the materiality of reading platforms as well as cultural practices surrounding their creation, consumption, use, and eventual disposal.
I would like to use the example of field guides as a way into this conversation. iPhone apps such as PlantNet are able to identify plant species using the device’s camera. I am interested in how using an app like PlantNet instead of a traditional print field guide changes the experience of The Nature Walk. How is the process of photographing a plant (and having the name of the species supplied to you) different from locating a species in the traditional field guide format of a printed book? How does this change the way we “read” the plants we may encounter? How does it challenge the very concept of the Field Guide?
I want to somehow tie these thoughts into emerging academic conversations surrounding media and the ecological crisis. The work of poet-thinker Robert Bringhurst, and other scholars interested in the ways humans read the land will be relevant to this inquiry.