Florian Cramer on Mon, 3 Mar 2014 23:58:41 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Hans Magnus Enzensberger: Rules for the digital world

Since several people asked me off-list about my own opinion on
Enzensberger's piece and my reasons for posting it here, the best answer I
can give is an essay I completed just a few weeks ago for  _A Peer-Review
Journal_ (APRJA, http://www.aprja.net), an Open Access journal on digital
culture edited by Christian Ulrik Andersen and Geoff Cox at Aarhus
University in Denmark. While it now reads like a reply to Enzensberger, it
was actually written early as part of a larger "post-digital research"
workshop organized by Aarhus University at Kunsthal Aarhus in collaboration
with transmediale festival; all other essays in the current number of APRJA
were products of this workshop, too.

The original essay, including images that are missing here, has been
published at http://www.aprja.net/?p=1318


# What is 'Post-digital'?

## Typewriters vs. imageboard memes

In January 2013, a picture of a young man typing on a mechanical typewriter
while sitting on a park bench went 'viral' on the popular website [Reddit](
The image was presented in the typical style of an 'image macro' or
'imageboard meme' (Klok 16-19), with a sarcastic caption in bold white
Impact typeface that read: "You're not a real hipster ??? until you take your
typewriter to the park".

The meme, which was still making news at the time of writing this paper in
late 2013 (Hermlin), nicely illustrates the rift between 'digital' and
'post-digital' cultures. Imageboard memes are arguably the best example of
a contemporary popular mass culture which emerged and developed entirely on
the Internet. Unlike earlier popular forms of visual culture such as comic
strips, they are anonymous creations ??? and as such, even gave birth to the
now-famous Anonymous movement, as described by (Klok 16-19).

The 'digital' imageboard meme portrays the 'analog' typewriter hipster as
its own polar opposite ??? in a strictly technical sense however, even a
mechanical typewriter is a digital writing system, as I will explain later
in this text. Also, the typewriter's keyboard makes it a direct precursor
of today's personal computer systems, which were used for typing the text
of the imageboard meme in question. Yet in a colloquial sense, the
typewriter is definitely an 'analog' machine, as it does not contain any
computational electronics.

In 2013, using a mechanical typewriter rather than a mobile computing
device is, as the imageboard meme suggests, no longer a sign of being
old-fashioned. It is instead a deliberate choice of renouncing electronic
technology, thereby calling into question the common assumption that
computers, as meta-machines, represent obvious technological progress and
therefore constitute a logical upgrade from any older media technology ???
much in the same way as using a bike today calls into question the common
assumption, in many Western countries since World War II, that the
automobile is by definition a rationally superior means of transportation,
regardless of the purpose or context.

Typewriters are not the only media which have recently been resurrected as
literally post-digital devices: other examples include vinyl records, and
more recently also audio cassettes, as well as analog photography and
artists' printmaking. And if one examines the work of contemporary young
artists and designers, including art school students, it is obvious that
these 'old' media are vastly more popular than, say, making imageboard

## Post-digital: a term that sucks but is useful

### 1. Disenchantment with 'digital'

I was first introduced to the term 'post-digital' in 2007 by my
then-student Marc Chia ??? now Tara Transitory, also performing under the
moniker _One Man Nation_. My first reflex was to dismiss the whole concept
as irrelevant in an age of cultural, social and economic upheavals driven
to a large extent by computational digital technology. Today, in the age of
ubiquitous mobile devices, drone wars and the gargantuan data operations of
the NSA, Google and other global players, the term may seem even more
questionable than it did in 2007: as either a sign of ignorance of our
contemporary reality, or else of some deliberate Thoreauvian-Luddite
withdrawal from this reality.

More pragmatically, the term 'post-digital' can be used to describe either
a contemporary disenchantment with digital information systems and media
gadgets, or a period in which our fascination with these systems and
gadgets has become historical ??? just like the dot-com age ultimately became
historical in the 2013 novels of Thomas Pynchon and Dave Eggers. After
Edward Snowden's disclosures of the NSA's all-pervasive digital
surveillance systems, this disenchantment has quickly grown from a niche
'hipster' phenomenon to a mainstream position ??? one which is likely to have
a serious impact on all cultural and business practices based on networked
electronic devices and Internet services.

### 2. Revival of 'old' media

While a Thoreauvian-Luddite digital withdrawal may seem a tempting option
for many, it is fundamentally a na??ve position, particularly in an age when
even the availability of natural resources depends on global computational
logistics, and intelligence agencies such as the NSA intercept paper mail
as well as digital communications. In the context of the arts, such a
withdrawal seems little more than a rerun of the 19th-century Arts and
Crafts movement, with its programme of handmade production as a means of
resistance to encroaching industrialisation. Such (romanticist) attitudes
undeniably play an important role in today's renaissance of artists'
printmaking, handmade film labs, limited vinyl editions, the rebirth of the
audio cassette, mechanical typewriters, analog cameras and analog
synthesizers. An empirical study conducted by our research centre Creating
010 in Rotterdam among Bachelor students from most of the art schools in
the Netherlands indicated that contemporary young artists and designers
clearly prefer working with non-electronic media: given the choice, some
70% of them "would rather design a poster than a website" (Van Meer, 14).
In the Netherlands at least, education programmes for digital communication
design have almost completely shifted from art academies to engineering
schools, while digital media are often dismissed as commercial and
mainstream by art students (Van Meer, 5). Should we in turn dismiss their
position as romanticist and neo-Luddite?

## Post-what?

### Post-digital = postcolonial; post-digital ??? post-histoire

On closer inspection however, the dichotomy between digital big data and
neo-analog do-it-yourself (DIY) is really not so clear-cut. Accordingly,
'post-digital' is arguably more than just a sloppy descriptor for a
contemporary (and possibly nostalgic) cultural trend. It is an objective
fact that the age in which we now live is _not_ a post-digital age, neither
in terms of technological developments ??? with no end in sight to the trend
towards further digitisation and computerisation ??? nor from a
historico-philosophical perspective. Regarding the latter, (Cox) offers a
valid critique of the "periodising logic" embedded in the term
'post-digital', which places it in the dubious company of other
historico-philosophical 'post'-isms, from postmodernism to post-histoire.

However, 'post-digital' can be defined more pragmatically and meaningfully
within popular cultural and colloquial frames of reference. This applies to
the prefix 'post' as well as the notion of 'digital'. The prefix 'post'
should not be understood here in the same sense as postmodernism and
post-histoire, but rather in the sense of post-punk (a continuation of punk
culture in ways which are somehow still punk, yet also beyond punk);
post-communism (as the ongoing social-political reality in former Eastern
Bloc countries); post-feminism (as a critically revised continuation of
feminism, with blurry boundaries with 'traditional', unprefixed feminism);
postcolonialism (see next paragraph); and, to a lesser extent,
post-apocalyptic (a world in which the apocalypse is not over, but has
progressed from a discrete breaking point to an ongoing condition ??? in
Heideggerian terms, from _Ereignis_ to _Being_ ??? and with a contemporary
popular iconography pioneered by the _Mad Max_ films in the 1980s).

None of these terms ??? post-punk, post-communism, post-feminism,
postcolonialism, post-apocalyptic ??? can be understood in a purely Hegelian
sense of an inevitable linear progression of cultural and intellectual
history. Rather, they describe more subtle cultural shifts and ongoing
mutations. Postcolonialism does not in any way mean an end of colonialism
(akin to Hegel's and Fukuyama's "end of history"), but rather its mutation
into new power structures, less obvious but no less pervasive, which have a
profound and lasting impact on languages and cultures, and most
significantly continue to govern geopolitics and global production chains.
In this sense, the post-digital condition is a post-apocalyptic one: the
state of affairs after the initial upheaval caused by the computerisation
and global digital networking of communication, technical infrastructures,
markets and geopolitics.

### 'Digital' = sterile high tech?

Also, the 'digital' in 'post-digital' should not be understood in any
technical-scientific or media-theoretical sense, but rather in the way the
term is broadly used in popular culture ??? the kind of connotation best
illustrated by a recent Google Image Search result for the word 'digital':
The first thing we notice is how the term 'digital' is, still in 2013,
visually associated with the colour blue. Blue is literally the coolest
colour in the colour spectrum (with a temperature of 15,000 to 27,000
Kelvin), with further suggestions of cultural coolness and cleanness. The
simplest definition of 'post-digital' describes a media aesthetics which
opposes such digital high-tech and high-fidelity cleanness. The term was
coined in 2000 by the musician Kim Cascone, in the context of glitch
aesthetics in contemporary electronic music (Cascone, 12). Also in 2000,
the Australian sound and media artist Ian Andrews used the term more
broadly as part of a concept of "post-digital aesthetics" which rejected
the "idea of digital progress" as well as "a teleological movement toward
'perfect' representation" (Andrews).

Cascone and Andrews considered the notion of 'post-digital' primarily as an
antidote to techno-Hegelianism. The underlying context for both their
papers was a culture of audio-visual production in which 'digital' had long
been synonymous with 'progress': the launch of the Fairlight CMI audio
sampler in 1979, the digital audio CD and the MIDI standard (both in 1982),
software-only digital audio workstations in the early 1990s, real-time
programmable software synthesis with Max/MSP in 1997. Such teleologies are
still prevalent in video and TV technology, with the ongoing transitions
from SD to HD and 4K, from DVD to BluRay, from 2D to 3D ??? always marketed
with a similar narrative of innovation, improvement, and higher fidelity of
reproduction. In rejecting this narrative, Cascone and Andrews opposed the
paradigm of technical quality altogether.

Ironically, the use of the term 'post-digital' was somewhat confusing in
the context of Cascone's paper, since the glitch music defined and
advocated here actually _was_ digital, and even based on specifically
digital sound-processing artefacts. On the other hand, and in the same
sense as post-punk can be seen as a reaction to punk, Cascone's concept of
 'post-digital' may best be understood as a reaction to an age in which
even camera tripods are being labelled as 'digital', in an effort to market
them as new and superior technology.

### 'Digital' = low-quality trash?

There is a peculiar overlap between on one hand a post-digital rejection of
digital high tech, and on the other hand a post-digital rejection of
digital low quality. Consider for example the persisting argument that
vinyl LPs sound better than CDs (let alone MP3s); that film photography
looks better than digital photography (let alone smartphone snapshots);
that 35mm film projection looks better than digital cinema projection (let
alone BitTorrent video downloads or YouTube); that paper books are a richer
medium than websites and e-books; and that something typed on a mechanical
typewriter has more value than a throwaway digital text file (let alone
e-mail spam). In fact, the glitch aesthetics advocated by Cascone as
'post-digital' are precisely the same kind of digital trash dismissed by
'post-digital' vinyl listeners.

## Digression: what is digital, what is analog?

### Digital ??? binary; digital ??? electronic

>From a strictly technological or scientific point of view, Cascone's use of
the word 'digital' was inaccurate. This also applies to most of what is
commonly known as 'digital art', 'digital media' and 'digital humanities'.
Something can very well be 'digital' without being electronic, and without
involving binary zeroes and ones. It does not even have to be related in
any way to electronic computers or any other kind of computational device.

Conversely, 'analog' does not necessarily mean non-computational or
pre-computational. There are also analog computers. Using water and two
measuring cups to compute additions and subtractions ??? of quantities that
can't be counted exactly ??? is a simple example of analog computing.

'Digital' simply means that something is divided into discrete, countable
units ??? countable using whatever system one chooses, whether zeroes and
ones, decimal numbers, tally marks on a scrap of paper, or the fingers
(digits) of one's hand ??? which is where the word 'digital' comes from in
the first place; in French, for example, the word is 'num??rique'.
Consequently, the Roman alphabet is a digital system; the movable types of
Gutenberg's printing press constitute a digital system; the keys of a piano
are a digital system; Western musical notation is mostly digital, with the
exception of instructions with non-discrete values such as adagio, piano,
forte, legato, portamento, tremolo and glissando. Floor mosaics made of
monochrome tiles are digitally composed images. As all these examples
demonstrate, 'digital' information never exists in a perfect form, but is
instead an idealised abstraction of physical matter which, by its material
nature and the laws of physics, has chaotic properties and often ambiguous

The hipster's mechanical typewriter, with its discrete set of letters,
numbers and punctuation marks, is therefore a 'digital' system as defined
by information science and analytic philosophy (Goodman, 161). However, it
is also 'analog' in the colloquial sense of the word. This is also the
underlying connotation in the meme image, with its mocking of 'hipster'
retro culture. An art curator, on the other hand, might consider the
typewriter a 'post-digital' medium.

### Analog = undivided; analog ??? non-computational

Conversely, 'analog' means that the information has not been chopped up
into discrete, countable units, but instead consists of one or more signals
which vary on a continuous scale, such as a sound wave, a light wave, a
magnetic field (for example on an audio tape, but also on a computer hard
disk), the flow of electricity in any circuit including a computer chip, or
a gradual transition between colours, for example in blended paint.
(Goodman, 160) therefore defines analog as "undifferentiated in the
extreme" and "the very antithesis of a notational system".

The fingerboard of a violin is analog: it is fretless, and thus undivided
and continuous. The fingerboard of a guitar, on the other hand, is digital:
it is divided by frets into discrete notes. What is commonly called
'analog' cinema film is actually a digital-analog hybrid: the film emulsion
is analog, since its particles are undifferentiated blobs ordered
organically and chaotically, and thus not reliably countable in the way
that pixels are. The combined frames of the film strip, however, are
digital since they are discrete, chopped up and unambiguously countable.

The structure of an analog signal is determined entirely by its
correspondence (analogy) with the original physical phenomenon which it
mimics. In the case of the photographic emulsion, the distribution of the
otherwise chaotic particles corresponds to the distribution of light rays
which make up an image visible to the human eye. On the audio tape, the
fluctuations in magnetisation of the otherwise chaotic iron or chrome
particles correspond to fluctuations in the sound wave which it reproduces.

However, the concept of 'post-digital' as defined by Cascone ignored such
technical-scientific definitions of 'analog' and 'digital' in favour of a
purely colloquial understanding of these terms.

## Post-digital = against the universal machine

Proponents of 'post-digital' attitudes may reject digital technology as
either sterile high tech or low-fidelity trash. In both cases, they dismiss
the idea of digital processing as the sole universal all-purpose form of
information processing. Consequently, they also dismiss the notion of the
computer as the universal machine, and the notion of digital computational
devices as all-purpose media.

## What, then, is 'post-digital'?

(The following is an attempt to recapitulate and order some observations
which I have formulated in previous publications.[^3])

### Post-digital = post-digitisation

Returning to Cascone and Andrews, but also to post-punk, postcolonialism
and Mad Max, the term 'post-digital' in its simplest sense describes the
messy state of media, arts and design _after_ their digitisation (or at
least the digitisation of crucial aspects of the channels through which
they are communicated). Sentiments of disenchantment and scepticism may
also be part of the equation, though this need not necessarily be the case
??? sometimes, 'post-digital' can in fact mean the exact opposite.
Contemporary visual art, for example, is only slowly starting to accept
practitioners of net art as regular contemporary artists ??? and then again,
preferably those like Cory Arcangel whose work is white cube-compatible.
Yet its discourse and networking practices have been profoundly transformed
by digital media such as the e-flux mailing list, art blogs and the
electronic e-flux journal. In terms of circulation, power and influence,
these media have largely superseded printed art periodicals, at least as
far as the art system's in-crowd of artists and curators is concerned.
Likewise, when printed newspapers shift their emphasis from daily news
(which can be found quicker and cheaper on the Internet) to investigative
journalism and commentary ??? like _The Guardian_'s coverage of the NSA's
PRISM programme ??? they effectively transform themselves into post-digital
or post-digitisation media.

### Post-digital = anti-'new media'

'Post-digital' thus refers to a state in which the disruption brought upon
by digital information technology has already occurred. This can mean, as
it did for Cascone, that this technology is no longer perceived as
disruptive. Consequently, 'post-digital' stands in direct opposition to the
very notion of 'new media'. At the same time, as its negative mirror image,
it exposes ??? arguably even deconstructs ??? the latter's hidden teleology:
when the term 'post-digital' draws critical reactions focusing on the
dubious historico-philosophical connotations of the prefix 'post', one
cannot help but wonder about a previous lack of such critical thinking
regarding the older (yet no less Hegelian) term 'new media'.

### Post-digital = hybrids of 'old' and 'new' media

'Post-digital' describes a perspective on digital information technology
which no longer focuses on technical innovation or improvement, but instead
rejects the kind of techno-positivist innovation narratives exemplified by
media such as _Wired_ magazine, Ray Kurzweil's Google-sponsored
'singularity' movement, and of course Silicon Valley. Consequently,
'post-digital' eradicates the distinction between 'old' and 'new' media, in
theory as well as in practice. Kenneth Goldsmith notes that his students
"mix oil paint while Photoshopping and scour flea markets for vintage vinyl
while listening to their iPods" (Goldsmith, 226). Working at an art school,
I observe the same. Young artists and designers choose media for their own
particular material aesthetic qualities (including artefacts), regardless
of whether these are a result of analog material properties or of digital
processing. Lo-fi imperfections are embraced ??? the digital glitch and
jitter of Cascone's music along with the grain, dust, scratches and hiss in
analog reproduction ??? as a form of practical exploration and research that
examines materials through their imperfections and malfunctions. It is a
post-digital hacker attitude of taking systems apart and using them in ways
which subvert the original intention of the design.

### Post-digital = retro?

No doubt, there is a great deal of overlap between on one hand post-digital
mimeograph printmaking, audio cassette production, mechanical typewriter
experimentation and vinyl DJing, and on the other hand various
hipster-retro media trends ??? including digital simulations of analog lo-fi
in popular smartphone apps such as Instagram, Hipstamatic and iSupr8. But
there is a qualitative difference between simply using superficial and
stereotypical ready-made effects, and the thorough discipline and study
required to make true 'vintage' media work, driven by a desire for
non-formulaic aesthetics.

Still, such practices can only be meaningfully called 'post-digital' when
they do not merely revive older media technologies, but functionally
repurpose them in relation to digital media technologies: zines that become
anti-blogs or non-blogs, vinyl as anti-CD, cassette tapes as anti-MP3,
analog film as anti-video.

### Post-digital = 'old' media used like 'new media'

At the same time, new ethical and cultural conventions which became
mainstream with Internet communities and Open Source culture are being
retroactively applied to the making of non-digital and post-digital media
products. A good example of this are collaborative zine conventions, a
thriving subculture documented on the blog [fanzines.tumblr.com](
http://fanzines.tumblr.com/) and elsewhere. These events, where people come
together to collectively create and exchange zines (i.e. small-circulation,
self-published magazines, usually focusing on the maker's cultural and/or
political areas of interest), are in fact the exact opposite of the 'golden
age' zine cultures of the post-punk 1980s and 1990s, when most zines were
the hyper-individualistic product and personality platforms of one single
maker. If we were to describe a contemporary zine fair or mimeography
community art space using Lev Manovich's _new media_ taxonomy of 'Numerical
Representation', 'Modularity', 'Automation', 'Variability' and
'Transcoding' (Manovich, _The Language of New Media_, 27-48), then
'Modularity', 'Variability' and ??? in a more loosely metaphorical sense ???
'Transcoding' would still apply to the contemporary cultures working with
these 'old' media. In these cases, the term 'post-digital' usefully
describes 'new media'-cultural approaches to working with so-called 'old

### DIY vs. corporate media, rather than 'new' vs. 'old' media

When hacker-style and community-centric working methods are no longer
specific to 'digital' culture (since they are now just as likely to be
found at an 'analog' zine fair as in a 'digital' computer lab), then the
established dichotomy of 'old' and 'new' media ??? as synonymous in practice
with 'analog' and 'digital' ??? becomes obsolete, making way for a new
differentiation: one between shrink-wrapped culture and do-it-yourself
culture. The best example of this development (at least among mainstream
media) is surely the magazine and website _Make_, published by O'Reilly
since 2005, and instrumental for the foundation of the contemporary 'maker
movement'. _Make_ covers 3D printing, Arduino hardware hacking, fab lab
technology, as well as classical DIY and crafts, and hybrids between
various 'new' and 'old' technologies.

The 1990s / early 2000s assumption that 'old' mass media such as
newspapers, movies, television and radio are corporate, while 'new media'
such as websites are DIY, is no longer true now that user-generated content
has been co-opted into corporate social media and mobile apps. The Internet
as a self-run alternative space ??? central to many online activist and
artist projects, from _The Thing_ onwards ??? is no longer taken for granted
by anyone born after 1990: for younger generations, the Internet is
associated mainly with corporate, registration-only services.[^4]

## Revisiting the typewriter hipster meme

The alleged typewriter hipster later turned out to be a writer who earned
his livelihood by selling custom-written stories from a bench in the park.
The imageboard meme photo was taken from an angle that left out his sign,
taped to his typewriter case: "One-of-a-kind, unique stories while you
wait". In an article for the website _The Awl_, he recollects how the meme
made him "An Object Of Internet Ridicule" and even open hatred.[^7] Knowing
the whole story, one can only conclude that his decision to bring a
mechanical typewriter to the park was pragmatically the best option.
Electronic equipment (a laptop with a printer) would have been cumbersome
to set up, dependent on limited battery power, and prone to weather damage
and theft, while handwriting would have been too slow, insufficiently
legible, and lacking the appearance of a professional writer's work.

Had he been an art student, even in a media arts programme, the typewriter
would still have been the right choice for this project. This is a perfect
example of a post-digital choice: using the technology most suitable to the
job, rather than automatically 'defaulting' to the latest 'new media'
device. It also illustrates the post-digital hybridity of 'old' and 'new'
media, since the writer advertises (again, on the sign on his typewriter
case) his Twitter account "@rovingtypist", and conversely uses this account
to promote his story-writing service. He has effectively repurposed the
typewriter from a prepress tool to a personalised small press, thus giving
the 'old' technology a new function usually associated with 'new media', by
exploiting specific qualities of the 'old' which make up for the
limitations of the 'new'. Meanwhile, he also applies a 'new media'
sensibility to his use of 'old media': user-customised products, created in
a social environment, with a "donate what you can" payment model. Or
rather, the dichotomy of community media vs. mass media has been flipped
upside-down, so that a typewriter is now a community media device, while
participatory websites have turned into the likes of _Reddit_, assuming the
role of yellow press mass media ??? including mob hatred incited by wilful

## The desire for agency

Cascone and Andrews partly contradicted themselves when they defined the
concept of 'post-digital' in the year 2000. Though they rejected the
advocacy of 'new media', they also relied heavily on it. Cascone's paper
drew on Nicholas Negroponte's _Wired_ article "Beyond Digital"
(Negroponte), while Ian Andrews' paper referenced Lev Manovich's
"Generation Flash", an article which promoted the very opposite of the
analog/digital, retro/contemporary hybridisations currently associated with
the term 'post-digital' (Manovich, "Generation Flash"). We could
metaphorically describe post-digital cultures as postcolonial practices in
a communications world taken over by a military-industrial complex made up
of only a handful of global players. More simply, we could describe these
cultures as a rejection of such dystopian techno-utopias as Ray Kurzweil's
and Google's Singularity University, the Quantified Self movement, and
sensor-controlled 'Smart Cities'.

And yet, post-digital subculture, whether in Detroit, Rotterdam or
elsewhere, is on a fundamental level not so different from such mainstream
Silicon Valley utopias. For (Van Meer), the main reason why art students
prefer designing posters to designing websites is due to a fiction of
agency - in this case, an illusion of more control over the medium.
Likewise, 'digital' cultures are driven by similar illusions of free will
and individual empowerment. The Quantified Self movement, for example, is
based on a fiction of agency over one's own body. The entire concept of
DIY, whether non-digital, digital or post-digital, is based on the fiction
of agency implied by the very notion of the self-made.

Each of these fictions of agency represents one extreme in how individuals
relate to the techno-political and economic realities of our time: either
over-identification with systems, or rejection of these same systems. Each
of these extremes is, in its own way, symptomatic of a _systems crisis_ ???
not a crisis of this or that system, but rather a crisis of the very
paradigm of 'system', as defined by General Systems Theory, itself an
offshoot of cybernetics. A term such as "post-Snowden" describes only one
(important) aspect of a bigger picture:[^8] a crisis of the cybernetic
notion of 'system' which neither 'digital' nor 'post-digital' ??? two terms
ultimately rooted in systems theory ??? are able to leave behind, or even
adequately describe.

## Works cited

Andrews, Ian. "Post-digital Aesthetics and the return to Modernism." (2000)
Web. December 2013 <http://www.ian-andrews.org/texts/postdig.html>

Cascone, Kim. "The Aesthetics of Failure: 'Post-Digital' Tendencies in
Contemporary Computer Music." _Computer Music Journal_, 24.4 (2000): 12-18.

Cox, Geoff. "Prehistories of the Post-digital: some old problems with
post-anything." (2013) Web. December 2013 <

Cramer, Florian. "Post-Digital Aesthetics." _Jeu de Paume le magazine_, May
2013. Web. December 2013 <

Cramer, Florian. "Post-Digital Writing." _electronic book review_, December
2012. Web. December 2013 <

Eggers, Dave. _The Circle._ New York: Knopf, 2013. Print.

Goldsmith, Kenneth. _Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital
Age_. New York: Columbia UP, 2011. Print.

Goodman, Nelson. _Languages of Art_, Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hacket, 1976.

Gurstein, Michael. "So What Do We Do Now? Living in a Post-Snowden World",
January 2014. Web. January 2014 <

Hermlin, C.D.. "I Am An Object Of Internet Ridicule, Ask Me Anything." _The
Awl_, 18 September 2013. Web. December 2013 <

Kittler, Friedrich. "There Is No Software." _Stanford Literature Review_ 9
(1992): 81-90. Print.

Klok, Timo. "4chan and Imageboards", _post.pic_. Ed. Research Group
Communication in a Digital Age. Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de
Kooning Academy Rotterdam University, 2010: 16-19. Print.

Manovich, Lev. 'Generation Flash.' (2002). Web. December 2013 <

Manovich, Lev. _The Language of New Media_. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2002.

Negroponte, Nicholas. _Beyond Digital_. _Wired_ 6.12 (1998). Web. December
2013 <http://web.media.mit.edu/~nicholas/Wired/WIRED6-12.html>

Pynchon, Thomas. _Bleeding Edge._ London: Penguin, 2013. Print.

Van Meer, Aldje. "I would rather design a poster than a website." _Willem
de Kooning Academy Rotterdam University_, 2012-2013. Web. December 2013 <
http://www.iwouldratherdesignaposterthanawebsite.nl>, <

[^1]: (Van Meer); also discussed later in this text.

[^2]: Even the piano (if considered a medium) is digital only to the degree
that its keys implement abstractions of its analog-continuous strings.

[^3]: (Cramer, _Post-Digital Writing_), (Cramer, _Post-Digital

[^4]: In a project on Open Source culture organised by Aymeric Mansoux with
Bachelor-level students from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, it
turned out that many students believed that website user account
registration was a general feature and requirement of the Internet.

[^5]: It's debatable to which degree this reflects the influence of
non-Western, particularly Japanese (popular) culture on contemporary
Western visual culture, especially in the field of illustration ??? which
accounts for an important share of contemporary zine making. This influence
is even more obvious in digital meme and imageboard culture.

 [^6]: For example (and six years prior to the typewriter hipster meme),
Linda Hilfling's contribution to the exhibition MAKEDO at V2_, Rotterdam,
June 29-30, 2007.

[^7]: (Hermlin) writes: "Someone with the user handle 'S2011' summed up the
thoughts of the hive mind in 7 words: 'Get the fuck out of my city.'
Illmatic707 chimed in: I have never wanted to fist fight someone so badly
in my entire life."

[^8]: A term frequently used at the Chaos Computer Club's 30th Chaos
Communication Congress in Hamburg, December 2013, and also very recently by

(With cordial thanks to Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Nishant Shah, Geoff Cox,
S??ren Pold, Stefan Heidenreich and Andreas Broeckmann for their critical
feedback, and to Aldje van Meer for her empirical research.)

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