How to Undo Things with Codes: New Writing Mechanisms and the Un/archivable Dis/appearing text

Published: May 1, 2014
William Gibson archive Garry Hill
Athina Markopoulou

The discourses of criticism are being transformed at the same time that our writing mechanisms are undergoing a major change. Reflecting on the relationship between our writing tools and our perceptions and taking programmability and interactivity as the main characteristics of new writing media, this essay attempts an approach to how that which is new in scriptural techniques, that is to say, programmability and interactivity, are undoing our perception of such notions as the archive and embodiment. The two works which are here commented contain the conditions of unwriting their written trace; the interactor who makes the text appear paradoxically also causes its disappearance by acts of destruction or dispersion. In the case of AGRIPPA (A Book of The Dead), William Gibson reserves for the reader the role of the destructor of the text through an extreme gesture of interaction which destines the work to erasure and calls for the retrieval of a text that contains the conditions of its own death. In the case of Garry Hill‘s Writing Corpora, the body‘s acts are created of, create and are turned against writing, they embody and disperse the writing traces, while the body experiences the shift from inscription to embodiment.

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Author Biography
Athina Markopoulou
Athina Markopoulou graduated with honors from the National Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2010. Specialising in Classical Studies, she conducted an extensive dissertation entitled Ver(b)um: The poetics of silence in the hymns if Thomas d’Aquinas. After having studied one year in the department of Classical Studies at the University Paris IV–La Sorbonne, she enrolled in the Masters Program “Lettres, Arts, pensée contemporaine” of the University Denis Diderot–Paris 7, where she obtained her Masters degree with honors. Her Masters thesis, “Mots ratés, traces insupportables,” for which she received high honours, explored the transformations of the notion of “literary work” in the last notebooks of Antonin Artaud. In November 2012, her article “Artaud, revenant insupportable” was published in the 8th issue of the journal Travaux en cours (publication of the University Denis Diderot–École doctorale 131 Langue, littérature, image : civilisations et sciences humaines). She is currently working as freelance Project Manager in Brussels, coordinating a Pilot EU Project involving digital applications in culture. 
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