Sailing on Encrypted Seas: The Archive and Digital Memory in African and Diasporic Futurism
Journal of Cultural Analytics
Digitization has commonly been marketed as a predictive technology that can enable humanity to intercede into the future. This faith in digital media’s prophetic powers, however, obfuscates the fact that digitization is unavoidably stuck in the past. In effect, digitization transforms the past into highly mutable and volatile data sets that are persistently rewritten by computer’s memory refresh circuits. While some lament this temporal incongruity as problematic to the archival process, African and diasporic futurist artists are utilizing digital distortion as an opportunity to emplace the archival process within the sea and reimagine the archive as an impermanent, transitory, and fluid practice that has the capacity to usher in a more culturally and scientifically nuanced understanding of memory. This article explores the capacity of the sea to reorientate digital humanities scholarship around the cyclical interplay between machinic, environmental, and human social systems and craft historiographical methods around envisioning a viable future for humanity.
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Furiasse, A. (2023). Sailing on Encrypted Seas: The Archive and Digital Memory in African and Diasporic Futurism. Journal of Cultural Analytics, 7 (4) https://doi.org/10.22148/001c.55508