Writing Without Bodies: Telegrams from My Grandfather and Other Notes

Kristensen, J C. 2014. 'Writing Without Bodies: Telegrams from My Grandfather and Other Notes'. In: Making Letters Making Meaning. Institute of Historical Research, University of London, United Kingdom 24 June 2014. [Conference or Workshop Item]

Kristensen Writing Without Bodies Slides.pdf - Presentation
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (19MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

In this paper, I draw on three sets of material - a set of telegrams sent by my grandfather in the late 1950s/early 1960s; Alan Turing's 1950 paper 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence' from the journal Mind; and a photograph of the philosopher Martin Heidegger writing at his desk - to explore the philosophical and theoretical relationship between presence, bodies, space, machines and writing.

It concludes with a meditation on the distinction between the practice of writing and of a text having been written, closing with the following lines:

"... writing has always been as much about networks of hands, tongues, fingers, inks, media and mediums so much so that when we look at these telegrams, they foreground the network status of writing that so often lays occluded by the trace of the hand in handwriting, by the techniques of writing and its claim to uniqueness, a uniqueness only born in 1868, the same year that the first commercially successful typewriter was patented. But that is another story."

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Related items in GRO:

Paperweight Radio: Ghosts (S1, EP1)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27435
Paperweight Radio: Light (S1, EP2)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27436
Paperweight Radio: Paper (S1, EP3)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27437
Paperweight Radio: Maker Culture (S1, EP4)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27456
Paperweight Radio: Mothers & Daughters (S1, EP5)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27457
Paperweight Radio: The Ecological (S1, EP6)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27458
Paperweight Radio: Collections (S2, EP1)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27459
Paperweight Radio: Animals (S2, EP2)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27461
Paperweight Radio: Domesticating the Modernist Body (S2, EP3)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27462
Paperweight Radio: Mixed Media (S2, EP4)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27463
Paperweight Radio: The Art School (S2, EP5)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27464
Paperweight Radio: Plastics (S2, EP6)http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27465
Orality and Literacy in the Digital Age: Some Initial Noteshttp://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27467
Speaking for The Technical Bodyhttp://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/27469


Telegrams, Writing, Meaning. Practice, Absence, Presence, Ghosts, Turing, Heidegger

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



24 June 2014Completed

Event Location:

Institute of Historical Research, University of London, United Kingdom

Date range:

24 June 2014

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

13 Nov 2019 14:47

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:21



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)