The past is, as Wolfgang Ernst has provocatively written, the “artifactual hardware, so to speak, upon which historical discourse operates like a form of software.” Taking up the implications of Ernst’s statement, this talk explores how tinkering with the material weight of history, its hardware, through the creative/critical use of digital media has the power to update the software of our discourse. By deliberately engaging the charged differences of electronic media — their material strangeness in relation to historical artifacts — tactical methods of creative deformation and critical making have the power to short-circuit scholarly conventions, forcing current methods of reading, writing and communicating to run along new paths.
Keynote talk. Digital Humanities Forum: Return to the Material. University of Kansas. September 12, 2013: http://idrh.ku.edu/dhforum2013
whitney trettien is a PhD Candidate in English at Duke University.