The esthetics of hidden things
Katherine Hayles observes, "Along with the hierarchical nature of codes goes a dynamic of concealing and revealing that operates in ways that have no parallel in speech and writing" (2005: 54). Hayles alludes to two examples of this dynamic. The first is to the "essential practice" in software engineering of "conceal[ing] code with which one is not immediately concerned" (2005:54). The second example is, well, more revealing: "[R] evealing code when it is appropriate or desired also bestows significant advantage. The "reveal code"command in HTML documents … may illuminate the construction and intent of the work under study" (2005: 54). This essay unfolds in the space between concealing and revealing limned by these two examples.
Dexter, S. (2012)., The esthetics of hidden things, in D. M. Berry (ed.), Understanding digital humanities, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 127-144.
This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.