Gramophone, Film, Typewriter (Writing Science) by Friedrich A. Kittler

By Friedrich A. Kittler

Towards the top of the 19th century, the hegemony of the broadcast note used to be shattered through the coming of latest media applied sciences that provided novel methods of speaking and storing information. formerly, writing had operated in terms of symbolic mediation—all facts needed to go through the needle's eye of the written signifier—but phonography, images, and cinematography saved actual results of the genuine within the form of sound waves and light-weight. the complete query of referentiality needed to be recast in gentle of those new media applied sciences; additionally, using the typewriter replaced the notion of writing from that of a distinct expression of a literate person to that of a series of bare fabric signifiers.

Part technological historical past of the emergent new media within the overdue 19th century, half theoretical dialogue of the responses to those media—including texts via Rilke, Kafka, and Heidegger, in addition to gildings by way of Edison, Bell, Turing, and different innovators—Gramophone, movie, Typewriter analyzes this momentous shift utilizing insights from the paintings of Foucault, Lacan, and McLuhan. Fusing discourse research, structuralist psychoanalysis, and media conception, the writer provides an essential ancient size to the present debates over the connection among digital literacy and poststructuralism, and the level to which we're constituted via our applied sciences. The e-book ties the institution of recent discursive practices to the advent of recent media applied sciences, and it indicates how either verify the ways that psychoanalysis conceives of the psychic gear by way of details machines.

Gramophone, movie, Typewriter is, between different issues, a continuation in addition to a close elaboration of the second one a part of the author's Discourse Networks, 1800/1900 (Stanford, 1990). As such, it bridges the space among Kittler's discourse research of the 1980's and his more and more computer-oriented paintings of the 1990's.

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It literally embodies what Lacan illustrated using the antiquated letter box. In contrast to the flow of handwriting, we now have discrete elements separated by spaces. Thus, the symbolic has the status of block letters. Film was the first to store those mobile doubles that humans, unlike other primates, were able to (mis)perceive as their own body. Thus, the imaginary has the status of cinema. And only the phonograph can record all the noise produced by the larynx prior to any semiotic order and linguistic meaning.

35 These days, paranormal voices on tape or radio, the likes of which have been spiritistically researched since r959 and preserved in rock mu­ sic since Laurie Anderson's r98 2 release Big Science,36 inform their re­ searchers of their preferred radio wavelength. This already occurred in r 898, in the case of Senate President Schreber: when a paranormal, beautifully autonomous " base or nerve language" revealed its code as well as its channels,37 message and channel became one. " You just have to Introduction 13 choose a middle-, short-, o r long-wave talk-show station, o r the 'white noise' between two stations, or the 'Jurgenson wave,' which, depending on where you are, is located around 1 4 5 0 to 1600 kHz between Vienna and Moscow.

Which is why anything that ever happened ended up in libraries. And Foucault, the last historian or first archeologist, merely had to look things up. The suspicion that all power emanates from and returns to archives could be brilliantly confirmed, at least within the realms of law, medicine, and theology. A tautology of history, or its calvary. 5 Even writing itself, be­ fore it ends up in libraries, is a communication medium, the technology of which the archeologist simply forgot. It is for this reason that all his analyses end immediately before that point in time at which other media penetrated the library's stacks.

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