Iteracies of feeling


  • Iain Emsley



Computational readings of culture allow us to pose new questions or create new cultural forms supporting new forms of critical thinking and reading. Yet the machine may not be able to identify some of the qualities, such as emotion, that might be central to the question raised. Using the Next Rembrandt project as a case study, this paper suggests an approach to consider the medium as the site of meaning making in digital culture and how this affects critical practice using Raymond Williams, David Berry and Jacques Derrida. In the first part, I consider the idea of reading with machines and how this might be considered within the medium. The second part uses iteracy to find meaning in the models and how this might reveal new critical paths through readings of the image. The final part presents a reading of the digital object itself and how these can be used to create a space for meaning to come into being. Through this, the article raises questions about critical techniques for understanding the material object in distant reading methodologies as
ongoing research.