. . . while circuit and screen are ideal conduits for certain kinds of data -- figures, images, cross- referenced information of all sorts -- they are entirely inhospitable to the more subjective materials that have always been the stuff of art. That is to say, they are antithetical to inwardness. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main one has to do with time. Quite simply, inward experience, including all aesthetic experience, unfolds in one kind of time; electronic communications, of their very nature, depend upon -- indeed create -- another. The time of the self is deep time, duration time, time that is essentially characterized by our obliviousness to it. To the degree that we immerse ourselves in a book, listen to music, sink into the visual realm of a painting -- to that degree we surrender our awareness of the present as a coordinate on a grid. We relinquish the governing construct of the now, exchanging it for content, feeling, and absorption. All circuit-driven communications, by contrast, are predicated upon instantaneousness. To use them, to interact with them, requires that we enter a kind of virtual now -- the perpetual present tense of the impulse, of the beep, the flickering cursor.
-- Sven Birkerts, The Gutenberg Elegies