Text and Digital Media: The Visualization of Code, Codex and Context

Abstract (in English): 

The changes provoked by contemporary digital media have altered the traditional concepts of political and social hierarchies as well as blurred the boundaries between disciplines. The concepts of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity, as well as those of transnationalism and multiculturalism, offer insight into the new sets of relationships that have developed between diverse disciplines within a global and local context. These relationships are framed within a digital media structure based on processes of mediation, remediation and transmediation that reflect the digital transformations that have blurred the boundaries between classic and new media (Lev Manovich; Henry Jenkins). In this context literary works are no longer part of a standalone discipline but can be visually represented in multiple visual formats, both digital and analogue. The text itself with its context, real and/or virtual, becomes a visual structure that can be manipulated and engaged with beyond its original purpose. The paper will focus on demonstrating, through a visual artwork titled Help Me To Be Friends With Her, how the richness of contemporary digital media offers the opportunity to create images from literary texts that, having originated as written word, are transformed into digital artworks that can be transferred into analogue formats. The paper will conclude by demonstrating the relevance and vitality of literature within the contemporary digital hybridization processes which display words, as both textual and visual artworks, as well as stress the ruptures in the socio-political hierarchies that these unorthodox practices generate.

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Jill Walker Rettberg