Digital Archiving Resources

Database as Symbolic Form

Title

Database as Symbolic Form

Subject

Web archiving

Description

In his essay, Lev Manovich argues for the database as the key form of expression in digital culture, stating that the new cultural algorithm is a progression of information from reality, to media, to data, to the database. Manovich connects database philosophy to linguist Ferdinand de Saussure’s semiotic philosophy, stating that the database reverses the relationship of systemic elements as syntagmatic (in praesentia) or paradigmatic (in absentia); new media turns narrative—once seen as explicit—into a mere series of links, while the database stores the elements themselves. According to Manovich, this leads to both a desire for new and experimental forms of narrative, and a valuation of computer logic by artists and within the culture at large.

Creator

Manovich, Lev
Vesna, Victoria

Publisher

University of Minnesota Press

Date

2007

Contributor

Sara Raffel

Type

Essay

Bibliographic Citation

Manovich, Lev. “Database as Symbolic Form.” In Database Aesthetics: Art in the Age of Information Overflow, edited by Victoria Vesna, 39-60. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007.

Files

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Collection

Citation

Manovich, Lev Vesna, Victoria, “Database as Symbolic Form,” Digital Archiving Resources, accessed September 25, 2017, http://dar.cah.ucf.edu/items/show/262.