Between Formats and Data: When Communication Becomes Recording

Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter it is argued that Internet Protocols have introduced a primarity of recording over communication, and given importance to formats. Indeed, recording consists of inscribing contents on a permanent material medium, and the format is what establishes correspondences between the content of the expressive unit and the technical unit of inscription on the medium. But the format has since then taken a dual function: it is what allows computational coding to be opened on applications, making certain uses possible; it also reduces documents to a mere sum of information defined through data. Format turns bits into meaningful entities, from bits to format, but also reduces interpretation to standardized and fixed situations, from documents to data.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sorbonne UniversitéParisFrance

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