The Medium is the Memory. In: The Digital Dialectic. New Essays on New Media / edited by Peter Lunenfeld. (MIT Press, 1999). ISBN 0-262-12213-8
Books have been on the way out for most of the twentieth century. Our dreams are no longer located between their covers; first movies, then television, and now the computer have offered more involving fantasies. For those in search of narrative rapture, technological media are indeed seductive: Why take the trouble to dream when you can so easily consume that which has already been visualized? While the relation between the story and the apparatus has been much discussed in relation to film and television, we are only now at a point where we can develop a theoretical discourse that ties the consumption of narrative to the media that have spawned in the computer’s wake. And yet, I contend that digital media – unlike film and video – have the potential to emerge as a new type of book.
We “know” what books are…. do we?
The book has been published in conjunction with the Digital Dialectic Conference at Art Center College of Design 1995.
Read the essay in digital form (pdf download)