[-empyre-] hello,

Dear all,

Hello! Sorry to be such a late starter - and already I am suffering the repercussions of arriving late to the party - everything is already underway, people are deep in conversation, maybe a little tipsy and the dancing is getting going! What I mean is that the posts so far are already sooo rich and there is so much to respond to it is hard to know where to begin. In fact, in order to take it all in, I'm going to have to print these posts out and read them on my long tube journey this morning. (one of the few advantages of having to use London public transport is the fact that it takes a very very long time!).
However this very experience I'm having says a lot, I feel, about writing in digital space or material. For me, one of the crucial changes that the digital introduces is this illusion of continuous 'presentness' - as we are all in a constantly simultaneuos time-space. One in which the speed of exchange (in writing) is so rapid it not only apes the immediacy of speech based conversation, but also has that added dimension of 'permanence' (yes I know this is an illusion of sorts too, as we are talking about the digital), such that the writing stays in the 'air' as it were, piling up into the site of these exchanges.
In my own work and projects the relationship that Sue is getting at, between print and the digital, is very key. Partly because I find that in order to contain or to deal with the rapaciousness of digital space/materiality I have to resort to physical means, but also because I think for many people the digital (and digital writing) is still a mimicing device, where non-digital histories, conventions, spaces and materials are translated but not perhaps as forgotten as we might imagine.
I recently wrote a paper about email as a correspondence form, relating it to the more 'old-fashioned' and increasingly less used form of letter-writing (and epistolary literatures). To frame this paper I write it as a letter addressed to a friend of mine who died 5 years ago. He was a writer and would have enjoyed this as a tactic I think. But I was interested in the effect of this non-material space on how we conceive of where it is and where we are in relation to it. And in particular, as I mentioned earlier, its illusory presentness.
... Mmmm, just some starting thoughts, unformed, even though written down!

more soon,
very pleased to be 'here',


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