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"A visual sense is born in the fingertips": towards a digital ekphrasis
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.
2013 (English)In: Digital Humanities Quarterly, ISSN 1938-4122, E-ISSN 1938-4122, Vol. 7, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, the significance of the rhetorical and modern definitions of ekphrasis will be discussed through the lens of digital literature and art. It attempts to reinscribe the body in ekphrastic practice by adding touch to the abstracted visualism of the eye, and emphasize defining features of the ancient usage: orality, immediacy and tactility. What I call the digital ekphrasis with its emphasis on enargeia, its strong connections with the ancient definition, and on the bodily interaction with the work of art, conveys an aesthetic of tactility; digitalis=finger. By tracing and elucidating a historical trajectory that takes the concept of ekphrasis in the ancient culture as a starting point, the intention is not to reject the theories of the late 1900s, but through a reinterpretation of ekphrasis put forward an example of how digital perspectives on classic concepts could challenge or revise more or less taken-for-granted assumptions in the humanities. In this context 'the digital' is not only a phenomenon that could be tied to certain digital objects or used as a digital tool, but as an approach to history, with strong critical potential. The aim is to show that one of the most important features of our digital culture is that it offers new perspectives – not only on current technology – but also on literary, cultural and aesthetic historical practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations , 2013. Vol. 7, no 1
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-64434OAI: diva2:601253
Available from: 2013-01-28 Created: 2013-01-28 Last updated: 2016-04-15Bibliographically approved

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