Social memory and the digital domain

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Social memory and the digital domain

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Title: Social memory and the digital domain
The canonization of digital cultural artefacts
Author: Attila, Marton
Abstract: Memory institutions and their practices of canonization are closely tied to the emergence of a social memory based on material artefacts and communication media. As libraries, archives and museums are stepping into the online world of digitality and computational operations, the question arises as to how these institutions and their processes of canonization change. Based on Elena Esposito’s system theoretical concept of memory as an operation of forgetting and on David Weinberger’s three orders of ordering artefacts, the paper analyses the canonization of digital cultural artefacts according to the practices of selection, order and preservation. Against this backdrop, the theme of transversal forgetting is developed as a cyclical process of forgetting-as-data that cuts across the boundaries of libraries, archives and museums and their traditionally separated rationale of what to select and how to order and to preserve the selected. The concept, therefore, is an argument against the still dominating metaphor of social memory being an externalized storage. Thus conceived, transversal forgetting attempts to capture memory institutions as part of the wider information environment of bits and bytes, networks and algorithms.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8901
Date: 2014-03-27
Notes: Paper presented at the 27th European Group for Organizational Studies colloquium (EGOS), 6-9 July 2011, Gothenburg, Sweden.

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