Jesper Olsson, From Digitization to the Post-Digital


Apart from the three larger projects presented here – at the start conceptualized as monographs – RepRecDigit will contain smaller, more punctual, studies materialized as articles and essays. Two of these, at least, will be of a more theoretical character and address the issue of digitization (and its sibling ’mediatization’) and the most recent word-en-vogue, ’post-digital’, challenging and problematic as it is, even though it does not necessarily entail a chronological postulation of something beyond or after digital technology and culture. However, since the project is financed within the frames of a program, announced by the Swedish Research Council, that address the ’digitization’ of contemporary society and culture, this very concept – its meanings, its effects, its usage – must be investigated and analyzed from different perspectives. This must be done for at least two reasons: on the one hand, since everything ’digital’ carries a heavy ideological burden, on the other hand, since the concept’s functionality is undermined today by accelerating technological and cultural changes, in which the digital is integrated into everyday life – and integrated into a complex media ecology – to such an extent that one must perhaps find other analytical tools to understand how life is transformed by technology. This invites, thus, for better or worse, the ’post-digital’, as one possible avenue to go down and explore. That this initial impulse and intention will be questioned during the project’s progress, is not, however, a premature assumption.