Our dominion is built on the twin pillars of belief and technology. As we stand astride the breach of a new cultural schism we need to contemplate not just the collapsing sand between our toes but the pattern of prints behind us and the fading traces of their dance over history’s horizon.
If we are not experiencing the birth of a new epoch then we are certainly still in its infancy — though we have been shifting to digital for decades it is only recently that the first generation of digital natives have arrived. The youngest of our children are more attuned to screens than the format of the printed page and code is taught at primary school as part of the curriculum. It won’t be long before the majority of us are exclusively educated and entertained digitally and when, not only the nature of our content and communications but also the shape of our devices will be in their hands. A generation whose grasp of binary and virtual is instinctive and intuitive, to whom the turning of a page or the square hard edges of a book unfamiliar. The printing press was undoubtedly one of mans greatest inventions and societies greatest levellers and yet it has only been around for 500 years — and universal access to its matter only a fraction of that (if even now). Prior to the book our traditions were physical, oral or graphic and whilst they have undeniably shaped our history comprehensively there are other narratives, transitions and devices that have played their part too. This page is a personal investigation into these and their connected narratives that have defined us as a species and by connecting them hopefully creating a better understanding of myself.