Database as a Symbolic Form
After the novel, and subsequently cinema privileged narrative as the key form of cultural expression of the modern age, the computer age introduces its correlate — database. Many new media objects do not tell stories; they don't have beginning or end; in fact, they don't have any development, thematically, formally or otherwise which would organize their elements into a sequence. Instead, they are collections of individual items, where every item has the same significance as any other.
Why does new media favor database form over others? Can we explain its popularity by analyzing the specificity of the digital medium and of computer programming? What is the relationship between database and another form, which has traditionally dominated human culture — narrative? These are the questions I will address in this article.