Monday, May 4, 2015

Facts and Prisons

The Digital Humanities are a compilation of media sources that, through one way or several, construct new works of art. This is done either through constructing something entirely new and original out of materials that already exist, or by deconstructing, or taking apart, works that already exist and repurposing the pieces to create something different. The main difference between these two forms of Digital Humanities is the concept of repurposing materials versus finding the materials required. This is the difference between someone who has an image of a completed work in their head and searches to realize it; and someone who takes a work and finds a way to mold it into something barely recognizable.

More obvious representations of the Digital Humanities include online databases and social sites as well as the research that involves analyzing what these online mediums do and how they affect society. As the Digital Humanities progress and become more easily recognizable, though not entirely, it becomes clear to the researching theorists that this new field is incredibly expansive. Not only because the quantity of new online and digital technologies becoming available; but because they are able to be recognized as having some footholds in past works.

When compared to postructuralism the Digital Humanities appeal to the idea that a work can flow anywhere between meaning nothing and meaning everything. When the author has an idea for a work but no physical evidence, it doesn’t exist physically and therefore means just less than nothing. Once it has been completed, it doesn’t mean anything but it does have meaning. On the opposite, deformance is when a work had meaning that is taken away, though not completely gone, and recreated into something else with an entirely different meaning. As the two play with the line between nothing and everything new works appear as a result that are certain to influence the future. 

Its been a pleasure working with you all for my lest semester at PSU. I’ve never been out of school before and I know a lot will change but I think one of the strangest things will be to no longer participate in our class debates. Thanks for the wild ride!


  1. I love how you compared the Digital Humanities to art. I like thinking about how some artists know what they are creating and some don't when going into a piece of work, and that's a good way to thing of the Digital Humanities. There's so much back and forth in the field itself that it is really open to anything, much like art. Very cool!

  2. I can't remember if Sample uses the word "deformance" or if that's a variation that you coined, but I love it. And neat conversation about the line between nothing and everything, which is really so appropriate to the internet...which seems infinitely rich at the same time as it becomes associated with a place filled with trivial, time-sucking emptiness. So interested in that, and in the way that metonymic entities like the internet basically include so MUCH that they almost lose meaning.... interesting ideas!