Current research

My main research topics are:

Technological Engagement

The origines of my interest in technological engagment started with the NWO research project Technological Engagement part of the NWO-research program Transformations in Perception and Participation: Digital Games.

Digital Textualities

Gradually my interest shifted from cinema and computer games to a the new research field of digital textualities with a special focus on typographical design and digital typography. The digital revolution changed the way we produce, write, read, print, distribute and store text profoundly. The writing or reading support has changed, text is stored differently, we access text on screens instead of paper. This change also our definition of text and how we experience and read texts.
Text is not anymore stored as visual or carved traces on physical supports such as paper, stone or wood. Text is now a data file which is processed with computer programs. The consequence thereof is that designers (and users) can easily rewrite the text or even mix and remix the text with all sorts of other visual, auditive and even tactile media. Moreover, digital text files can be printed on paper or on a screen, but also spoken, (statically or dynamically) visualised or rendered as three dimensional objects. Techniques such as sampling, quoting, appropriation, which were central to twentieth century historical avant-garde or post-modern design, are now standardised and industrialised practices.
The term digital textualities points to the fact that we cannot speak anymore about text in the traditional sense of the word, that is typographical text as a ordered series of type or words. Text merged with other media. We could even state that the digital technologies restored the original meaning of word the Latin textura which means weaving, web, texture, or structure. Digital text is a texture, a weaving and interaction between the different semiotic systems of the sound, speech, moving images, fixed images, writings, tactile surfaces. Therefore, we should better speak about digital textualities instead of digital text.

Neo-baroque aesthetics

I am interested in how baroque-like dispositives are used in the (new) media by for instance filmmakers, typographers or painters to position and influence the spectators and readers. For instance the use of baroque devices in melodramatic film, or how the 19th century Belgian painter Antoine Wiertz used baroque techniques in his ‘high art’ paintings which were actually characteristic for the emerging (low) 19th century mass culture, or the co-supervision of Christophe Van Eecke’s PhD on Ken Russell’s Artist Biographies as Baroque Performance of the Self.

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