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

Federico Dal Bo
An open-format workshop

The Derridian notion of archi-écriture (“archi-writing”) 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 “logo-phallo-centrism.” Despite its obvious theological côté, the notion of “archi-scripture” appears to support a number of different cultural uses. For instance, in psychiatry, “archi-writing” 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 “archi-writing.”

This psychiatric assumption would then be confirmed also in Human Sciences, specifically in biology. It is particularly “Biology” that would show how “archi-writing” 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 “archi-writing” 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.”

Participants from interdisciplinary background and interest in practical, artistically, and empirical application of the notion of “archi-writing” are most welcomed!