Archi-Writing: A Short History of Writing from the Caves to the Webspace

a cluster proposal by Federico dal Bo

The Derridian notion of archi­écriture (“archi­writing”) manifests some obvious Scriptural resonances and was used by Derrida in order to reorient the relationship between “speech” and “writing,” with the fundamental purposes of “deconstructing” the so called “logo­phallo-centrism.” Despite its obvious theological côté, the notion of “archi­scripture” appears to support a number of different cultural uses. For instance, in psychiatry, “archi­writing” would support the assumption that the unconscious is structured as a language, with some important psychological and epistemological consequences: our inability of “interpret” the unconscious would impliy that this “linguistic structure” is not fully transparent to the analysis, since it is “deeper” that “writing,” indeed is an “archi­writing.” This psychiatric assumption would then be confirmed also in Human Sciences, specifically in biology. It is particularly “Biology” that would show how “archi­writing” isn’t simply a metaphor rather an actual “empirical” condition, susceptible to biological as well as neurological studies. A further “empirical” support to this notion would also be found in modern physics, since “archi-writing” as a sort of “primordial writing” would offer a philosophical and epistemological support to the assumption of the newest physics of the universe: the strings theory as “fragments” of a “writing” that has never been present. Finally, this notion of “archi­writing” would also be confirmed in modern media theory, as the assumption that a “primordial writing” lays beneath all the transformations of “writing” from its first manifestations in primitive caves up to the new “immaterial” conception of “cyberspace.”