Presentation Abstract


Our question is this: If the great conceptual revolution that attended the invention and development of the technologies associated with "alphabetic" writing and recording is called "literacy," how or what shall we name the conceptual apparatus that must accompany our entry into the "digital"? If we assume that literacy does indeed name a constellation of institutions, subject positions, and their supporting apparatuses, can we find a logical justification for imagining that such a question is somehow even pertinent? Or is the question --as well as the desire/demand we voice with this question -- itself only an untimely atavistic remnant of the logic that is inextricably bound to the literate mode?

We propose, perhaps perversely, that our question is ultimately an impossible one. And yet we intend to proceed "as if" it were not -- proposing, in fact, 2 answers. What we suspect (literacy has taught us nothing if not to *be* suspicious) is that by working through the implications and the complications generated by these 2 answers, we will discover something useful. We suspect that we will discover that that which we are hoping to "see" has yet to arrive; at least it has yet to arrive under conditions whereby we might be able to see it. In other words, by giving 2 different answers we want to invoke a logic of paradox -- a logic that dictates that what we are looking for will not be found because it cannot be "there" where we are looking, cannot be "positioned," and cannot satisfy our desire to "possess" it.

So, by proposing 2 answers -- let's call them "S" (for screen) and "M" (for mediation), we will be engaged in constructing a fantasy.

This project, generated by specific classroom experiences teaching in a computer networked environment, will explore the desire that is produced by the disjunction between what *is* and what *ought to be*. Thus we want to exhibit the provisional results of an experiment that engages a range of texts in a variety of media showing and telling how desire may be mobilized to produce and to construct versions of our fantasies that tease and please rather than frustrate and bore.

Author: Michelle Glaros
Second Author: Michael A. Laffey


Target Audience: Advanced

Add your comment about this presentation

Return to the Schedule of Abstracts