Database Narrative

By staging creative processes, learning, research in an open content management system such as a WordPress Multisite, narrative forms and collective authoring draw from the aggregation of the database. Emerging from a database with 10s or even hundreds of participants, the use of taxonomies becomes integral to the artistic/creative/learning process. As categories and tagging that reach across the online environment, the use of “shared taxonomies” is an inventive catalyst for collective forms of database narrative. From shared taxonomies emerges forms of peer-to-peer practices and cultural production that gains momentum and meaning as users of the system coordinate their use of tags and categories in highly creative and artistic ways: lending support to more than just archival retrieval, but inventive filtering and presentation of ideas, trends, topics, concepts, and other meaningful taxonomical groupings.

Situating these ideas in a performative context, you might consider a collection of Websites with shared intent as a “data happening,” in which the organization of meaning becomes a highly artistic event in its conceptual realization. When the artistic process is approached in this way, each participant has more exposure to the work of others, a dynamic that is fundamental in the studio process, as well as highly collaborative in the artistic sense. Each participant provides a window into their process, which tends to inform and activate the work of others, and it is the extended and creative use of the database in which meaning is derived from the collective aggregation of individual processes.