2017, Fri, Apr 21

Yuk Hui: On a Possible Passing from Digital to Symbolic

Modernization is entropic as Claude Lévi-Strauss says in Tristes Tropiques, in which the constant disintegration of the symbolic world can be witnessed, like those of the tigers in the exhibition.

The rapid transformation of the postcolonial world left a melancholia, which demands compensations through preservation and inscription of the past, for example, collective memory. However, it seems that there is a paradox inside the dynamics of technological systems: the progress in the capacity of inscription and preservation is accompanied by an unavoidable process of desymbolization. Digital media provide much more possibilities to simulate and retain historical traces in different forms of digital objects, however, it doesn’t seem to succeed in escaping such a paradox. Instead of thinking the preservation of the symbolic through the digital, will it be possible to enlarge the concept of media, so that it allows to conceive a possible passing from the digital to the symbolic? Yuk Hui will attempt to approach this speculation by returning to a question that Jean-François Lyotard raised in an article titled Logos and Techne, or Telegraphy (1986) concerning anamnesis as a possible passing.