Postdigital / More-Than-Digital: Ephemerality, Seclusion, and Copresence in The University


Postdigital / More-Than-Digital: Ephemerality, Seclusion, and Copresence in The University

10am – 11:30am GMT / 11am – 12:30pm CET


Arguably, the genealogy of the term postdigital rests on the inseparability of the digital and the analogue, that the concept that the digital and analogue are intertwined as one inseparable entity, and that the digital will only be noticed by its absence, not its presence. In this talk I will explore the tensions inherent in these claims, arguing that the digital is theorised as ubiquitous and also occluded from direct view; resulting in the postdigital, in which the digital as a presence seems to be imagined as an entity outside of direct perception. Interrogating the concept of being intertwined and the nature of twine, I will argue that this commonly-used metaphor is in fact flawed, and does not provide sufficient theoretical purchase on the nature of the relationship
between the digital and analogue. I consider the concept of the network and the meshwork, arguing that neither of these concepts are adequate when seeking to capture the nature of the more-than-digital in the university. I argue for the importance of ephemerality, seclusion and copresence as fundamental elements of being and entanglement in the university; aspects of which have hitherto been neglected in theories of the postdigital. I conclude by proposing the concept of fugitive practices.


Lesley Gourlay

This seminar is part of the FAST45 SEMINAR SERIES: PEDAGOGICAL LIFE AND THE DIGITAL UNIVERSITY OF THE ARTS. The series explores particular forms and aspects of pedagogical life that may inform or instruct our imagination on the concept of the learning platform. As a contemporary pedagogical form that connects physical and virtual learning communities, the learning platform is increasingly being aligned with corporate training and workplace learning models. In this seminar series we want to expand on these tensions, towards an open discussion on other possibilities within technological forms of education.

The programme will be run through the FAST45 Learning Platform over 7 x 1.5 hr sessions. Each session will be led by a key thinker on education and technology. As suggested by Roland Barthes, the seminar is an open-ended, relational space that connects ‘institution, transference, and text’. In the spirit of Barthes seminar, we ask that participants attend each session of the series in order to commit to this relational dynamic and partake in an ongoing dialogue.


Monday November 6th
11:25 AM
Glenn Loughran
21 minutes 15 seconds

Really interesting exposition on the tensions inherent to digital and analogue forms of learning. Lesley is right to suggest that more complex work is needed in this area, as illustrated by the challenge of permeation in the otherwise useful metaphor of ‘twinning’.

Monday November 6th
11:43 AM
Glenn Loughran
26 minutes 12 seconds

The consistent integration of digital platforms into higher education amounts to an administrative encroachment on the core characteristics of embodied pedagogy: Ephemerality / Seclusion / Co-presence.

Thursday November 23rd
03:01 PM
Sandrine Desmurs
58 minutes seconds

It’s very interesting to see what is being called into question or what is being weakened by the massive integration of digital platforms in higher education (and Lesley points this out: ephemerality, seclusion, co-presence). And it’s also very interesting to see how these elements can still be at work, often in reinvented ways in digital environments. The exchange between Lesley and Glenn reminded me of the concept of counter-conduct that Dominique Cardon is reusing today to talk about our ability to “play” in our relationship to socio-technical environments. What could be ephemerality, seclusion and co-presence in these calculated worlds?

Monday December 4th
02:33 PM
Glenn Loughran
-26 minutes 12 seconds

On the emergence of fugitive practices in response to the encroachment of digital platforms on the characteristics of: Ephemerality / Seclusion / Co-presence.

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