This talk by Dr. Matthew Kirschenbaum will adopt a media archaeological framework for considering floppy disks (the ubiquitous remnant of the first great home computer age) and their virtual simulacra, the disk image. The conceit of an “image” confers a complex epistemological status, bearing the inheritance of centuries of Western philosophical thought about the nature of mimesis and representation, with concomitant implications for archival notions of evidence, authenticity, and integrity. We will therefore descend to the ferro-magnetic surface of this unique class of media objects to examine their import and legacy from both a technical and theoretical standpoint.
Wednesday, March 20
6:15 – 8:15 pm
CJ Building 1.114
7141 Sherbrooke Street West
Matthew Kirschenbaum is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH, an applied think-tank for the digital humanities). He is also an affiliated faculty member with the College of Information Studies at Maryland, and a member of the teaching faculty at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School. A 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, his next book, Track Changes: A Literary History of Word Processing, is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.