Sign Here!: Handwriting in the Age of New Media (Transformations in Art and Culture)

Sign Here!: Handwriting in the Age of New Media (Transformations in Art and Culture)

Sonja Neef

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 9053568166

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Will handwriting survive the evolution of digital media? Sign Here explores the changing role of manual writing in a world of e-mail, text messaging, and other digital technology. In a series of fascinating essays, media scholars examine the changing concepts of originality, authenticity, and uniqueness—both culturally and legally—as digital media continue to rapidly expand.

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serve ‘the desire of contemporary masses to bring things “closer” spatially and humanly, which is just as ardent as their bent toward overcoming the uniqueness of every reality by accepting its reproduction’ (223). Unfortunately, Benjamin does not elaborate on the ‘auratic’ status of writing in his essay. The aim of this section, in a way, is to fill that gap. For now, we will tentatively argue that, according to Benjamin’s classification of cultural objects, writing should be considered

the product. These characteristics often distinguish one product from another, i.e., they define the product’s identity (as opposed to its functionality), and by proxy, the producer’s identity as well. For the products of a publisher, the aesthetic identity is determined by factors including typography, page design, and citation style. We all recognize a Penguin when we see one, and a doctor will not mistake Nature for the Lancet. The commercial importance of product identity is one of the reasons

Dekeyser Before diving into the turbulent waters of the digital age, a brief excursion into legal history is in order. Writing has not always enjoyed the privileged status that it currently has in the eyes of the law; in Roman and medieval times, for example, witness testimony was generally preferred, as it was possible to engage in cross-examination. From the 16th century onwards, documentary evidence gradually gained increasing legal standing. In western continental Europe, this evolution

and feel of the document is preserved, but the ability to reuse the content is lost instead. Distinguishing between essential and incidental characteristics is the responsibility of the archivist. Whichever format is chosen, migration breaks any digital signatures accompanying the original file, as the new file is represented by its own distinct bitstream. With regard to the preservation of digital signatures, emulation appears to be a more promising archival strategy. The functions and behavior of

falsified. This turns the index into an icon. This possibility is in the nature of the sign, and distinguishes signs from their referents. By first attributing the telegram erroneously to the dead Albertine, Proust foregrounds that inherent capacity to deceive. By means of the graphic signature of Gilberte/Albertine, the imaginary graphics and the image of grammè, the importance of the visual for Proustian poetics is sketched out and ‘signs itself’. To sum this up briefly: handwriting possesses the

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