Session Title

Digital Skin II: "Franken-Manuscripts" and "Zombie Books": Digital Manuscript Interfaces and Sensory Engagement

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Information Studies (HATII), Univ. of Glasgow

Organizer Name

Johanna Green

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. of Glasgow

Presider Name

Diane G. Scott

Presider Affiliation

Univ. of Glasgow

Paper Title 1

Zombie Manuscripts: Digital Facsimiles in the Uncanny Valley

Presenter 1 Name

Dorothy Carr Porter

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Pennsylvania

Paper Title 2

Vibrant Matter: Rethinking Digital Touch and the Materiality of Digital "Skin"

Presenter 2 Name

Johanna Green

Paper Title 3

How Much Is Enough? Sensory Experience and the Digital Manuscript

Presenter 3 Name

Bridget Whearty

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Binghamton Univ.

Paper Title 4

Respondent

Presenter 4 Name

Angela R. Bennett

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Nevada-Reno

Start Date

12-5-2018 3:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1345

Description

Much early discussion of manuscript digitisation often focused on the sense of 'material loss' in the transition from analogue manuscript to digital page; digital manuscripts were referred to as “surrogates” that provided access at a material cost, and which failed to offer the audience any of the contextual and sensory experiences of encountering the original manuscript. Among the textual distortions oft lamented were 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 when a manuscript is transformed by technological intervention from analogue to digital. In a possible attempt to assuage these concerns, a number of digitised manuscript interfaces sought to include sensory media such as ‘turning the pages’ technology, or the “sound” of a folio being turned. However, the artificiality of such media often means that attempts to digitally recreate the experience of interacting with an analogue manuscript in fact creates an experience that is almost entirely unlike that of interacting with the original. These digitised manuscripts, in effect, become “franken-manuscripts” or “zombie books”, brought back to life in ways that, ironically, often serve to further distance the user from the sensory experiences of the original object. As more recent scholarship has argued, when we digitise, we do not replicate; rather, we create an entirely new digital object with its own distinct materiality. Building on the success of three previous Digital Skin sessions across ICMS Kalamazoo in 2016 and Leeds IMC in 2017, this session promotes critical discussion of the evolution of digitised manuscript interfaces and the various (artificial) sensory media they promote. Specifically, the session seeks to examine the efficacy of sensory digital media offered by digitised manuscript interfaces and asks: what happens to a manuscript when we give it new, 'digital skin'?

Johanna Green

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 12th, 3:30 PM

Digital Skin II: "Franken-Manuscripts" and "Zombie Books": Digital Manuscript Interfaces and Sensory Engagement

Schneider 1345

Much early discussion of manuscript digitisation often focused on the sense of 'material loss' in the transition from analogue manuscript to digital page; digital manuscripts were referred to as “surrogates” that provided access at a material cost, and which failed to offer the audience any of the contextual and sensory experiences of encountering the original manuscript. Among the textual distortions oft lamented were 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 when a manuscript is transformed by technological intervention from analogue to digital. In a possible attempt to assuage these concerns, a number of digitised manuscript interfaces sought to include sensory media such as ‘turning the pages’ technology, or the “sound” of a folio being turned. However, the artificiality of such media often means that attempts to digitally recreate the experience of interacting with an analogue manuscript in fact creates an experience that is almost entirely unlike that of interacting with the original. These digitised manuscripts, in effect, become “franken-manuscripts” or “zombie books”, brought back to life in ways that, ironically, often serve to further distance the user from the sensory experiences of the original object. As more recent scholarship has argued, when we digitise, we do not replicate; rather, we create an entirely new digital object with its own distinct materiality. Building on the success of three previous Digital Skin sessions across ICMS Kalamazoo in 2016 and Leeds IMC in 2017, this session promotes critical discussion of the evolution of digitised manuscript interfaces and the various (artificial) sensory media they promote. Specifically, the session seeks to examine the efficacy of sensory digital media offered by digitised manuscript interfaces and asks: what happens to a manuscript when we give it new, 'digital skin'?

Johanna Green