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What is a medium? What are the relationships between media? Can the web be considered a medium? The Canada Research Chair is developing an intermedial approach for addressing these questions, all while challenging the traditional definitions of terms such as “media,” “mediation,” etc., in order to avoid adopting an essentialist perspective. One of the key concepts of this line of thought is that of “mediating conjunctures.”




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The Directory of Digital Writings

What is a literary work in a digital environment? The Canada Research Chair on Digital Textualities is interested in digital literary forms that do not fall within the definition provided by the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO). Our approach is based on the desire to make visible and accessible works that are not considered a traditional literary form.


Marcello Vitali-Rosati et Jean-Marc Larrue, Media do not exist, Amsterdam, Institute of Network Cultures, 2019, 107 p., (« Theory on Demand »).

Media Do Not Exist: Performativity and Mediating Conjunctures by Jean-Marc Larrue and Marcello Vitali-Rosati offers a radically new approach to the phenomenon of mediation, proposing a new understanding that challenges the very notion of medium. It begins with a historical overview of recent developments in Western thought on mediation, especially since the mid 80s and the emergence of the disciplines of media archaeology and intermediality. While these developments are inseparable from the advent of digital technology, they have a long history. The authors trace the roots of this thought back to the dawn of philosophy. Humans interact with their environment – which includes other humans – not through media, but rather through a series of continually evolving mediations, which Larrue and Vitali-Rosati call ‘mediating conjunctures’. This observation leads them to the paradoxical argument that ‘media do not exist’. Existing theories of mediation processes remain largely influenced by a traditional understanding of media as relatively stable entities. Media Do Not Exist demonstrates the limits of this conception. The dynamics relating to mediation are the product not of a single medium, but rather of a series of mediating conjunctures. They are created by ceaselessly shifting events and interactions, blending the human and the non-human, energy, and matter.


Enrico Agostini Marchese, « Vous êtes ici. Prolégomènes pour une littérature géolocalisée », Hybrid. Revue des arts et médiations humaines, décembre 2018.

Si l’avènement et la diffusion massive du téléphone intelligent et des autres dispositifs mobiles ont déjà fait l’objet de plusieurs études, notamment dans les domaines des sciences cognitives et de la sociologie, les analyses littéraires à cet égard demeurent rares, surtout dans le monde francophone. Cependant, les écrivains ont de plus en plus recours aux potentialités offertes par ce type de support afin d’explorer de nouvelles possibilités littéraires. En analysant quelques-uns de ces exemples, nous allons nous demander de quelle manière les dispositifs mobiles changent notre rapport à la littérature : comment la mobilité et la portabilité intrinsèques à ces dispositifs, la géolocalisation dont ils sont dotés et les nouvelles interfaces conçues pour eux influencent-elles nos pratiques de lecture et d’écriture ?

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