Digital Densities: examining relations between material cultures and digital data
Call For Papers
27th March 2015, The University of Melbourne
Hosted by the Digital Humanities Incubator (DHI) in the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne.
The ‘material turn’ in Humanities research has seen a celebration of the physicality of things and a revaluing of the weight of experience, including in the case of digital data. In his key text Mechanisms, Matthew Kirschenbaum identifies a need to reassess theories of electronic textuality in light of “the material matrix governing writing and inscription in all forms: erasure, variability, repeatability and survivability” (2008, xii). In the academy, this material turn co-exists with an increasing utilization of digital resources and digital methodologies to preserve and disseminate the findings of our research. These shifts are accompanied by divergent affective responses that include an interest in tactile sensations and a mourning of the loss of the object. There is a new awareness of the forms of lightness or weight attached to the transmission of ideas in and beyond our research communities; the densities of our culture and scholarship. The ever more numerous moments of contact between material culture and digital methodologies open up debates that are of both practical and theoretical significance.