The Information Age has allowed humans to access and experience history in a vivid and individual way as we experience history through awe inspiring multi-media with interactive break out points that have been researched by experts and presented by professionals. In this way the average human is likely to experience and associate with history in a much deeper and more intense way than at any other time in history. By and large this has been good but has digital networked technologies introduced another aspect? Is there a hidden cost?
This paper looks at two ways in which the synthesized human/digital networked technology unit decontextualizes and de-tether the past. Firstly, the very nature of the technology is explored highlighting the role of the human digital/tool synthesis and the way in which this fragments and de-sequences information: the building blocks of history. Secondly, the nature of the technology-engaged human is discussed, demonstrating how the individual can amplify or diminish their experience or accessing of the past.
Understanding the power of digital networked technologies has become vital as they are ubiquitously embedded in society. If historians understand digital networked technologies they will be better able to resist or appropriate them.
NewMac – 2013 Postgraduate Conference, Tethering the Past
28 and 29 November 2013, at the University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus