Vocabulary: Spimes and… Something Else

So, according to Wikipedia, a spime is an object that can be tracked through its entire life cycle, through space and time, hence the portmanteau.

But I’m looking for a somewhat different word. A physical object which is, in fact, only the representation of a digital object. Say, if I have a document on Google Docs or Sharepoint or my hard drive, and print it out. I might scribble all over that sheet of paper, but the original is the digital version. And the changes I make to the paper version only become real if I make them in the digital version. The physical printout of the object is disposable; the digital original is the (more) permanent one.

I might make a piece of music on my laptop and then print it as an LP and take it to a house party and put it on a turntable. The LP is an instance of the original object.

For a dissection of the confusion this creates in a world that also demands a hardcopy for authenticity and archiving, see

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