Mimeo as Hard Drive

There has been much speculation as to what exactly the C in C:  A Journal of Poetry refers to:  Columbia University, Censored Review, The Comedian as the Letter C, etc, etc.  What is wonderful about Berrigan's title is that it keeps accruing associations decades after its initial publication.  Reading Mechanisms:  New Media and the Forensic Imagination, I associate the title with the hard drive on a personal computer.  The hard copy as hard drive.

Kirschenbaum thrusts the storage device into a spotlight that has been bogarted by the computer screen.  Much of Mimeo Mimeo and RealityStudio highlight little magazine cover art and the isolated page thus promoting this screen ideology.  Interestingly this is largely due to storage constraints.  Yet the little magazine is first and foremost a storage technology.  The focus is not the individual page but the totality of its contents.  Thus the little magazine is not just a single screenshot or an isolated moment in space and time but a library, museum, or archive of poems, stories, essays, paintings, photographs documenting a multitude of spaces and times, which in turn alter depending on when, where and how they are read.

Kirschenbaum also makes the point that digital material is commonly thought of as ephemeral and unstable, yet is in fact just the opposite.  The same could be said of the publications of the Mimeo Revolution.  A dead technology that produced material that threatened to crossover into the immaterial, yet the publications of the Mimeograph Revolution persist despite their ephemeral nature and their exceedingly small print runs.



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