Publication Details

Law, J. C. & Bruekers, A. (2007). Artists and designers as collectors: the aesthetics of digital journaling. International Conference on Automated Deduction (pp. 1-8). Perth, WA: Computer Art and Design Education.


The visual journal has been a constant companion to artists and designers. It fulfills the multiple functions of a scrapbook, a sketchpad, an observation notebook, a filing cabinet and an archive. Collecting ideas and artifacts using digital devices is an important process for artists and designers today. However, the accessibility provided by these tools also leads to problems in traditional visual journaling. The increasingly diverse formats (such as, audio, video, or digital codes) can pose difficulties when working in conjunction with tangible materials. The storage, access, and usage of materials also need to be reconsidered. The key question is not whether digital production tools or software systems can replace physical journals, but: how can digital artifacts be accessed fluidly along with other tangible materials? How can we further journaling by taking advantage of the possibilities offered by digital mediums? Can artists/ designers reclaim the contemplative stillness of the visual diary in the ceaseless streams of materials? This paper approaches these questions from a practice viewpoint. It explores the possibility of digital journaling by developing an appreciation of the aesthetics of interaction and association. This examination is supplemented by analyses of practices that assemble materials in response to their physical and digital environments. We conclude by discussing approaches in working across different mediums and materiality in the context of journaling.