Read Hazel Smith’s essay, ‘Creative Writing and New Media’in The Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing (p.102–17).
Having read this essay and tried to view many the pieces of work she references, I conclude that this is a subject I don’t find particularly interesting. I think this is because I work on a computer all day professionally so I like to come away from that for my creative outlet.
The idea of heightened ‘emergence’ through letting a computer compose some of a piece leaves me with a feeling of ‘emperors new clothes’. A computer will only ever do what it is told (unless you are talking about AI, which this essay isn’t), so I feel as if Smith and her contemporaries are misplacing authorship and anthropomorphising computers. I personally feel if I was giving up some authorship, it would be to another person and be a collaboration, the richness coming from mutual responses.
What happens to a story when you take it from its source, make it permanent in print, and disseminate it to a wide audience?
Specifically in contrast to a story that is passed along verbally, it stops changing. Certainty of the source is lost (even if cited), but it takes on a gravitas simply by being in print, which makes readers more inclined to accept it without question. These two factors contribute to the current epidemic of misinformation on social media sites.
Implications arising from the printing press.
– Ultimately the person with control of the press controls whether a text is printed or not.
– Setting a page was time-consuming, and therefore relatively expensive, so presumably only those with funding had access to the service and an audience.
– knowledge and news spread faster
– revolutionary ideas were heard more widely
– Scientific advancement was facilitated through sharing of accurate data (hand-copies texts were more prone to error) and discoveries