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Universität Bremen - Fachbereich 3 - Informatik


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The Hand in Digital Culture

Datum: 10.02.2010

Ort: Cartesium Rotunde

Vortragende(r): Prof. Charlie Gere, Ph.D. (Lancaster University, Insitute for Cultural Research)


In the Universum Science Center there is a plinth containing a wooden model of a hand and above it the following quotation from sociologist Annelie Keil. „The human hand is the first tool of culture. It is the model for many other tools, which humans then imitated and developed, in order to survive on earth. The tool is the basis for investigating the world, the starting point of science.“ Taking advantage of the dual meaning of digital in English, referring to both the description of the world in discrete elements characteristic of contemporary computing, and also the fingers, and thus by extension the hand, grasping, touching and so on, and using the work of Derrida, as well as Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, André Leroi-Gourhan, Bernard Stiegler, Jean-Luc Nancy, Richard Sennett, Juhami Pallasmaa, and Raymond Tallis, the colloquium concerns the role of the hand in a digital culture which apparently values the immaterial, the virtual and the disembodied. But, as Jacques Derrida points out, even with „mechanical or electrical writing machines, with word processors, the fingers are still operating … All that goes down, for some time to come, in a history of digitality“.