The Post-Digital U-turn - Lawrence Liang (Yale University/Ambedkar University) and Nishant Shah (Leuphana University)

05/03/2017 - 5:00pm
Digital Computer Lab 1310

The role of the digital is to turn memory into storage. In the time of ubiquitous computing and pervasive archiving, it is time to calibrate the form, format and functions of the digital turn. A decade ago, the value of digitization was in its capacity to provide non-material, virtual, portable copies of information sets which could be distributed and circulated with ease, thus driving the 'Open Everything' moments. However, now that we are not only inundated with digital copies but are also flooded with born digital objects that require new and often unprecedented forms of archiving and memory making, the question to ask is whether the promises and premises of the digital turn need to be critically examined. In this session, we propose that the original digital turn was predicated on an 'extinction' call that sought to store but forget, archive but 'unremember' the knowledge that was being addressed. The first half of the session, understands this extinction call through the physical computation processes of data storage, migration, and activation, and proposes that we need a new call of 'survival' to mark the future of our digital practices. The second half draws from practices of curation, circulation, and creation to show how these might be brought to life. Building upon the new demands that Digital Humanities have offered to the role and relevance of the digital in our emerging practices, we move towards a new framework of understanding the post-digital moment that we occupy.

A dialogue with Lawrence Liang (Yale University/Ambedkar University) and Nishant Shah (Professor of Culture & Aesthetics of Digital Media, at Leuphana University/Founder and Director, Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore, India).