Quantum Reading (Digital Literacy)
In ‘quantum physics’ a phenomenon is produced by the intersection of a set of possibilities and an act of perceptual intervention. At the level of granularity we are used to experiencing in daily business, matter appears to operate with a certain consistency according to Newton’s laws. But at the atomic and subatomic level, these consistencies dissolve into probabilities, not certainties, providing contingent, rather than absolute, identities. We should simply think of letters, words, typefaces, graphic forms in the same way. Think of the page as a force field, a set of tensions in relation, which assumes a form when intervened through the productive act of reading. Peculiar? Not really, just unfamiliar as a way to think about ‘things’ as experienced. A slight vertigo can be induced by considering a page as a force field, a set of elements in contingent relation, a set of possibilities, instructions for a potential event. But every reading reinvents a text, produces it, as an intervention, and that is a notion we have long felt comfortable invoking. I’m merely shifting our attention from the ‘productive’ character of signifying field.
(Johanna Drucker, in Graphical Readings and the Visual Aesthetics of Textuality)
‘Introduction to New Materialist Genealogies: New Materialisms, Novel Mentalities, Quantum Literacy’ Vera Bühlmann, Felicity Colman, Iris van der Tuin (Minnesota Review, Issue 88, 2017, pp. 47-58, Duke University Press)
Katherine Hayles, How we Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis – excellent book on digital literacy and how we read – close text reading to hyper-text reading (online)