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Sensations of History

Animation and New Media Art

2019
Author:

James J. Hodge

Sensations of History

A phenomenological investigation into new media artwork and its relationship to history

Drawing on phenomenology’s investigation of time and history, Sensations of History furthers our understanding of the digital age within the larger scope of history. Highlighting underappreciated, vibrant work in digital art and video, it presents the case that we are not witnessing the end of history—we are instead seeing its rejuvenation in a surprising variety of new media art.

What does it mean to live in an era of emerging digital technologies? Are computers really as antihistorical as they often seem? Drawing on phenomenology’s investigation of time and history, Sensations of History uses encounters with new media art to inject more life into these questions, making profound contributions to our understanding of the digital age in the larger scope of history.

Sensations of History combines close textual analysis of experimental new media artworks with in-depth discussions of key texts from the philosophical tradition of phenomenology. Through this inquiry, author James J. Hodge argues for the immense significance of new media art in examining just what historical experience means in a digital age. His beautiful, aphoristic style demystifies complex theories and ideas, making perplexing issues feel both graspable and intimate.

Highlighting underappreciated, vibrant work in the fields of digital art and video, Sensations of History explores artists like Paul Chan, Phil Solomon, John F. Simon, and Barbara Lattanzi. Hodge’s provocative interpretations, which bring these artists into dialogue with well-known works, are perfect for scholars of cinema, media studies, art history, and literary studies. Ultimately, Sensations of History presents the compelling case that we are not witnessing the end of history—we are instead seeing its rejuvenation in a surprising variety of new media art.

Sensations of History

James J. Hodge is assistant professor of English at the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University.

Sensations of History

Contents

Introduction: Another History

1. Out of Hand: Animation, Technics, History

2. The Noise in History: Reactivating the Exteriority of Writing

3. Lateral Time: Historical Temporality in the Age of Networks

4. The Sensation of History: Motion Studies from Muybridge to Ken Jacobs

Conclusion. Data Incomplete: The Web as Already There

Acknowledgments

Notes

Index