backstory-character’s backstory

The main character is a scholar and most of the images I’m generating are first-person with a few establishing shots.
She is a media archeologist and is a historian of writing technologies.
Her current research is on the typewriter which is really interesting for all kinds of reasons that I can enumerate if you wish–gender roles, post-humanism, ideas about machines and subjectivity, etc. (Hayles and Kittler)
She is using a new visualization tool that allows her to read paper documents as with an MRI–so that the palimpsest history can be disclosed through imaging software. She is currently donating some time to a crowd-sourced project in which files of typewritten documents (found somewhere–not sure what kind of documents, but typewritten ones)–have been digitized and machine-read but they need human interpretation to decipher aspects that cannot be “algorithmed”–the intentions of the writers or an odd set of fragments that don’t fit within the typical usage patterns. Perhaps the typewriter has been used unconventionally (as in ascii art–but NOT that)
There are fragments of text that are visible–some on the surface, some as the first round of marks that were erased (white-out, pencil eraser on onion skin, or that erasing ribbon kind) and then typed over. What do they say? (I have no idea!!!) The keyboard has been configured numerous ways before settling on QWERTY (where the physiology of the hand meets linguistic patterns/roman alphabet meets the physics of the machine) and it may be that the typewriter on which the document was typed had some kind of anomalous keyboard or something… (???)
She is also interested in the history of the first mass-produced typewriter by Remington which was an arms manufacturer during wartime but became a typewriter manufacturer when casting about for a new use for their tools in a time of peace. (Interesting parallel with Vannevar Bush’s impetus in writing As We May Think).
She is in isolation–a kind of writing retreat–in the desert or some other deserted environment. Yet her field of vision is populated by an entire world full of people, documents, events, etc., because she has some kind of embedded augmented vision and her research materials and tools are all in “the cloud”, always accessible, and always on. This means that from the outside she looks like any woman in her small house in, say, 1995. But from her perspective, she is not alone–is never alone–and has the entire world–in fact all of the world’s history, and everyone she knows personally and professionally–at her fingertips. And yet her fingertips no longer touch a keyboard or pencil or any mechanical device. In fact there is no evidence anywhere in her environment that she is hard at work on a research project–no visible evidence that she is reading or writing other than the fact that she sits for long periods of time or appears oddly silent and somewhat distracted when buying groceries, and taps her fingers constantly. Like everyone else, she carries on one-sided conversations walking down the street or in other places where it isn’t too rude or disruptive. That’s just normal.

I needed to establish those specific bits to help me to imagine the future modes of scholarly production that I need for my research project–new technologies and the realities/worlds/practices they help create, but also to imagine scenes, events, situations. I’ve been looking a lot at the book version of Chris Marker’s La Jetée... I’m thinking a very filmic/graphic novel approach mixing drawings and photos. Not abstract/collage/allusory… but definitely images that are somewhat open-ended.

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