the materiality of deletion

This project is about verifying and testing the hypothesis that a meaningful change is taking place in our relationship to the materiality of deletion.  Material presence of information never guaranteed the author control of the content, but the language of expressing and representing control over information is changing. My proposal is to foreground the various material surfaces, tools, processes, and tensions involved in record deletion.

The research of methods of deletion will be guided by the current search terms used for seeking “how to” guides. From that point historical analogues would be traced and catalogued. The result would be a survey of deletion practices of historical media that may illuminate how we came to accepting a difference between deleting content and physical erasure of the medium. The survey of erasable media and methods will be at and notes on deletion culture and industry are at

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