Dusk to dawn: horizons of the digital/post-digital

postdigital_vizzies1

New article out in latest issue of A Peer-Reviewed Journal About. The journal takes up the concept of post-digital, a sub-theme of this year’s Transmediale call, and is the result of a workshop hosted by Aarhus University where a group of us (mostly PhD researchers and practitioners with an interest in media arts) converged to discuss what exactly post-digital might constitute. The resultant articles include all manner of takes on this, with Florian Cramer’s “What is post-digital?” being a logical starting point for anyone interested in the concept. My own take on it was less interested in what might count as post-digital and more invested in exploring possible symptoms that could be seen as giving rise to the very notion of post-digital. The article also ended up moving very much in the direction of the main Transmediale theme of afterglow, exploring the nature of moments of transition, such as one between digital/post-digital.

Even in its final form the essay is fairly fast and loose, reflecting both its strange beginnings as a riffing on a Walter Benjamin quote and some Kool Keith lyrics and the fact that the material referred to was all new and outside of what I’ve been looking at in dissertation writing to date. Despite that, the experience of the workshop and the Transmediale festival itself proved interesting in different ways and much of this will now be folded into and expanded upon further in the diss (for instance, the choice quote by Talan Memmott in the first draft and discussion of Takeshi Murata’s video for Oneohtrix Point Never’s “Problem Areas” were eventually excluded in this final version, but should be making a return in the diss). Also, in a recent discussion thread addressing post-digital on the Emypre mailing list, micha cárdenas raised the important question of what the overt political potential or dangers in a narrowly conceived notion of the post-digital might be. In placing this work back into some of the more overtly political stuff of the diss hopefully some of these political potentials will become more readily transparent. Of the many images of dusk that come to mind, Derek Walcott’s “Frederiksted, Dusk” remains one of the more potent and relevant in such a context (“Sunset, the cheapest of all picture-shows…”).

Finally, here is a little “post-exterminator” generator put together (with a coding assist by Memmott) for running in the background during my initial presentation at the workshop.

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