A spatiotemporal capture device, a survival that, in your hands, unfolds transactional passage-ways of untold dimensions. Yet also a gesture, differentiating inside from out, frame from field with a finger drawn. Equally determined to catalyze and surpass their material binding in the here and now, they slyly posture as self-sufficient objects with no need for reading, translation, or circulation. Yet as they are destroyed, re-deployed, incinerated, unwritten, ingested, buried, unopened, deteriorate, obfuscate, or erase, so too are the stalled spacetimes (i.e., meanings) and potent coming-into-relation that books and their readers cannot help but realize, giving away the lie.
Laura Shackelford is associate professor of English and director of the Center for Engaged Storycraft at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York. She is the author of Tactics of the Human: Experimental Technics in American Fiction (2014); her research in literary media practices, narrative theory, and feminist science studies examines the Ordinary Entanglements (manuscript in progress) through which bioinformatic sciences, digital languages, and their spatiotemporal orientations enter into literary fiction and contemporary knowledges of lived space.