jumping the gun

I’ve started the reading for JP’s fall seminar.  I read this passage from The Digital Dialectic (ed. Peter Lunenfeld):

We still will publish in book form that which we deem to have lasting significance.  Nothing ages faster and becomes inaccessible quicker than electronic media.  The silver oxide is falling off the tapes that constitute our archive of the pioneering era of video art.  Good luck trying to find a system that can access computer files that are a mere decade old (especially if they were composed on now-abandoned operating systems).  And bit rot (a lovely, though all too appropriate, coinage to deal with the digital’s always already dated qualities) is almost immediate on the World Wide Web, with sites popping up and falling away like flowers in the desert. (xx)

This might be an interesting starting point: something about digitality, decay, temporality–esp. in contrast to the idea that the digital is all about convergence and coming together.  Here, it is as much marked by falling apart.  This is of particular interest when considered against the futurist tropes of uploading consciousness into digital memory devices and the like–an exchange of one mortality for another (though that is not the central interest for me here).

Tentative (way too early title): “ASCII to ASCII, DOS to DOS: Decay, the Digital, and Temporality.”


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