Current research

My research is titled Media Dispositives: Technology, Spectators and Texts and focusses on a systematic and historical research into the way old and new media construct and position spectators, users and/or visitors. My research combines semiotics and semiotic inspired media theory with notions of Science and Technology Studies (in particular Post-phenomenology and Actor Network Theory).

My main current research topic is Digital Textualities.

I’m developing a new research project on the field of what I call digital textualities with a special focus on digital and kinetic typography. The digital revolution has changed the way we produce, write, read, print, distribute and store text profoundly. Text is stored differently, we access text on screens instead of paper, which not only has changed the definition of text but also the sensory experience of reading. Furthermore is text not anymore stored as visual or carved traces on a physical support such as paper, stone or wood. Typography is changed into data and code which is processed on a par with other data files and with the same computer programs. The consequence thereof is that designers (or users) are able to mix any number of visual, auditive and even tactile elements regardless of the media in which they originated. Moreover, digital text can be spoken, visualised (statically or dynamically), turned into a three dimensional objects, and mixed and remixed with all sorts of other media material.Techniques such as sampling, quoting, appropriation, which were central to twentieth century historical avant-garde and post-modern design, have now become standardised and industrialised practices in digital graphic design.

The term digital textualities points thus to the fact that we cannot speak anymore about text in the traditional sense of the word, a ordered series of fixed written or printed words on a support. Text has become digital and is merged with other media. Actually we could even state that the digital technologies restored the original meaning of word the Latin textura which means weaving, web, texture, structure. Digital text has become a texture, a weaving of interactions between different semiotic systems, that of sound, speech, moving images, fixed images, writing, and even tactile surfaces. It is therefore better not to speak about digital text but about digital textualities.

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