Maha: Electronic Writing

Welcome to the Machine…

Programmable Texts and Electronic Writing

The word “machine” or “machination” derives etymologically from the ancient Greek “Makhana,” a term used to convey the quality of “being able” or simply an “ability,” an enabled state. From this connotation, we derive the concepts of mechanic, mechanical or mechanisation – all suggesting a capacity to function or operate. A machine understood in this way is simply any integrated structure, where purpose derives from function. The sanskrit roots of this term, ”maha” – meaning “great”, lend our etymology the additional sense of respect our cultural history tends to show for all structures of functional integrity. Watching a single ant forage for food elicits little interest, yet who cannot marvel at the single superorganism we see in hundreds of thousands of insects operating in unison towards single objectives? Truly our ongoing fascination with the machine derives from a very old, perhaps even primal, admiration for structural form and function.   In English, we find the same linguistic roots twisting up through history, sprouting forth the word “magnificance”.techniques for both screen and page can produce very sophisticated compositions with complex, multiple meanings and connotations, regardless of content or context. Doubtless, this effect speaks again to the general intellectual and emotional force of visual design. Images of patterns presented well or emphasized with particular clarity betray an intriguingly strong command of our rational faculties. At an extreme level, this effect almost prompts us to question whether the meaning of any activity, object or concept can be distinguished apart from its measurement and symbolic design – that the design itself is, in fact, the source of its significance. At the same time, one can argue that the success of these kinds of works depends, however indirectly, on the material source of inspiration. In this way, graphs and mappings show first and foremost the various meanings, patterns and rational significance informing all material processes and events surrounding us. 

Follow the links below in the right margins to see examples of recent work done by NJIT communication and media students.

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One Response to “Maha: Electronic Writing”

  1. […]  Welcome to Maha: this section of the Website features some of the creative works, discussions and ideas about writing, programming and the new “screen” arts as initiated in NJIT’s Electronic Writing Classes. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Quick infomation about AssamMeaning of Nikhil! […]

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