Session Title

Digital Skin: Sensory Experiences of Digital Manuscripts

Sponsoring Organization(s)

English Language, Univ. of Glasgow

Organizer Name

Johanna M. E. Green, Andrew Prescott

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Glasgow, Univ. of Glasgow

Presider Name

Johanna M. E. Green

Paper Title 1

Electric Ink

Presenter 1 Name

Andrew Prescott

Paper Title 2

The Book

Presenter 2 Name

Eduardo Kac

Presenter 2 Affiliation

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Paper Title 3

Through a Glass Darkly, or, Rethinking Medieval Materiality: A Tale of Carpets, Screens, and Parchment.

Presenter 3 Name

Emma Cayley

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Exeter

Paper Title 4

Respondent

Presenter 4 Name

Pamela M. King

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Glasgow

Start Date

13-5-2016 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1130

Description

Much traditional scholarship discussing manuscript digitisation often focuses on the sense of 'material loss'; digital manuscripts may be viewed as 'poor surrogates', providing access at a cost, failing to provide the audience with the contextual and sensory experiences of the original (see Edwards 2012, inter alia). Among the textual distortions oft lamented, the absent sense of weight and size of a codex, the feel of the parchment between the fingers, the play of light over an illuminated initial, the sound or movement of the turning page, are all too often viewed negatively when a manuscript is transformed by technological intervention from analogue to digital. Increasingly, images of manuscripts are shared via social media, divorced from their manuscript surroundings and circulated in isolation, and they are frequently appropriated into other forms for entertainment, profit, as well as education, thus losing their sense of context (see, for example, recent discussions at UCL's symposium 'Getting the Word Out: Medieval Manuscripts Now'). Though emerging text technologies addressing the various distortions of text are being investigated internationally (e.g. NeDiMAH events, 2014-; Stanford's TexT Collegium 'Distortion', 2015, to name but a few), fresh scholarship (e.g. Houston, 2015) considers specifically the sensory gain offered by these digital transformations. Arguing that immersive technologies allow increased audience interaction and engagement with restricted manuscripts, such scholarship suggests that the latest digital developments no longer limit us to simply point, click or scroll: we can touch, tap, pinch, swipe, and rotate the digital object in ways simply not possible with the original codex, or twentieth century text technologies (e.g. microfilm, CD-ROMs, online digital editions). This panel, therefore, encourages discussion of the sensory gain brought about by advances in text technology that broaden our ability to see, touch, and even smell books in new, involved ways. Taking inspiration from existing technologies such as 3D imaging (e.g. St Chad Gospels), touch-technology (e.g. the Exeter Manuscripts Project), and even olfactory means of 'reading' (e.g. Eduardo Kac's 'Aromapoetry': http://www.ekac.org/aromapoetry.html), the panel poses the question: can digitisation and technological intervention increase and benefit our sensory experiences of medieval manuscripts within a new digital skin?

- Dr Johanna M. E. Green, English Language, University of Glasgow

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 13th, 10:00 AM

Digital Skin: Sensory Experiences of Digital Manuscripts

Schneider 1130

Much traditional scholarship discussing manuscript digitisation often focuses on the sense of 'material loss'; digital manuscripts may be viewed as 'poor surrogates', providing access at a cost, failing to provide the audience with the contextual and sensory experiences of the original (see Edwards 2012, inter alia). Among the textual distortions oft lamented, the absent sense of weight and size of a codex, the feel of the parchment between the fingers, the play of light over an illuminated initial, the sound or movement of the turning page, are all too often viewed negatively when a manuscript is transformed by technological intervention from analogue to digital. Increasingly, images of manuscripts are shared via social media, divorced from their manuscript surroundings and circulated in isolation, and they are frequently appropriated into other forms for entertainment, profit, as well as education, thus losing their sense of context (see, for example, recent discussions at UCL's symposium 'Getting the Word Out: Medieval Manuscripts Now'). Though emerging text technologies addressing the various distortions of text are being investigated internationally (e.g. NeDiMAH events, 2014-; Stanford's TexT Collegium 'Distortion', 2015, to name but a few), fresh scholarship (e.g. Houston, 2015) considers specifically the sensory gain offered by these digital transformations. Arguing that immersive technologies allow increased audience interaction and engagement with restricted manuscripts, such scholarship suggests that the latest digital developments no longer limit us to simply point, click or scroll: we can touch, tap, pinch, swipe, and rotate the digital object in ways simply not possible with the original codex, or twentieth century text technologies (e.g. microfilm, CD-ROMs, online digital editions). This panel, therefore, encourages discussion of the sensory gain brought about by advances in text technology that broaden our ability to see, touch, and even smell books in new, involved ways. Taking inspiration from existing technologies such as 3D imaging (e.g. St Chad Gospels), touch-technology (e.g. the Exeter Manuscripts Project), and even olfactory means of 'reading' (e.g. Eduardo Kac's 'Aromapoetry': http://www.ekac.org/aromapoetry.html), the panel poses the question: can digitisation and technological intervention increase and benefit our sensory experiences of medieval manuscripts within a new digital skin?

- Dr Johanna M. E. Green, English Language, University of Glasgow