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Variations on Media Thinking

2019
Author:

Siegfried Zielinski

Variations on Media Thinking

A diverse, enriching volume of media analysis from a pioneering thinker in the field

Expanding on Siegfried Zielinski’s groundbreaking inquiry into “deep time” of the media, these essays foster the eminent media theorist’s unique method of expanded hermeneutics, which means for him interpreting technical artifacts as essential parts of our cultural lives. Including many previously untranslated and scarce essays, these “written time machines” further diversify Zielinski’s insight into the hidden layers of media development.

Historians of technology know that any tool is also an instrument of exploration, experiment, and simulation. Siegfried Zielinski reminds us that any technology is also a generator of wonder. In fact, Zielinski does not write media history, he writes world history through the generative lens of media as machines of speculation and imagination. This is a material history of dissent, heretical hermeneutics, and electrified alchemic curiosity.

Matteo Pasquinelli, Karlsruhe University of Art and Design

Expanding on Siegfried Zielinski’s groundbreaking inquiry into “deep time” of the media, the essays in Variations on Media Thinking further the eminent media theorist’s unique method of expanded hermeneutics, which means for him interpreting technical artifacts as essential parts of our cultural lives. Covering such topics as the televisualized “Holocaust,” the ubiquity of media today, the Internet, the genealogy of sound art, and history’s first hacker movement, these essays further diversify Zielinski’s insight into the hidden layers of media development, which he first articulated in his pioneering work Deep Time of the Media.

Including many previously untranslated and scarce essays, these “written time machines” open new lines of investigation for cultural scholars. From the automata of the Arabic-Islamic Renaissance (800–1200) to the largest and loudest techno-event ever, known as The Symphony of Sirens—which transformed Baku in 1922 into an immense music box of modern noise—Variations on Media Thinking covers Zielinski’s inquiries since 1975. Richly illustrated and full of provocation, brilliant insight, and fascinating research, this volume is perfect for students of media archaeology, philosophy, and technology, as well as any adventurous, rigorous thinkers engaged with culture and media.
Variations on Media Thinking

Siegfried Zielinski is Michel Foucault Professor at The European Graduate School in Saas Fee and chair for Archaeology and Variantology of Art and Media at Berlin University of the Arts (i.r.). He is author of Deep Time of the Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means, which has been translated into many languages, and [...After the Media]: News from the Slow-Fading Twentieth Century (Univocal/Minnesota, 2013).

Variations on Media Thinking

Historians of technology know that any tool is also an instrument of exploration, experiment, and simulation. Siegfried Zielinski reminds us that any technology is also a generator of wonder. In fact, Zielinski does not write media history, he writes world history through the generative lens of media as machines of speculation and imagination. This is a material history of dissent, heretical hermeneutics, and electrified alchemic curiosity.

Matteo Pasquinelli, Karlsruhe University of Art and Design

Variations on Media Thinking

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction. Generators of Surprise: Diverse Media Thinking

I. Provocations

1. History as Entertainment and Provocation: The TV Series Holocaust in West Germany

2. Media Archaeology: Searching for Different Orders of Envisioning

3. Seven Items on the Net

4. Toward a Dramaturgy of Differences

5. From Territories to Intervals: Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Economy of Time/the Time

6. On the Difficulty to Think Twofold in One

with Nils Röller

7. The Art of Design: (Manifesto) On the State of Affairs and Their Agility

8. “Too Many Images!—We Have to React”: Theses toward an Apparatical Prosthesis for Seeing—in the Context of Godard’s Histoire(s) du Cinéma

II. Particular Archaeologies

9. The Audiovisual Time Machine: Concluding Theses on the Cultural Technique of the Video Recorder

10. War and Media: Marginalia of a Genealogy, in Legends and Images

11. Theologi electrici: A Few Passages

12. Historic Modes of the Audiovisual Apparatus

13. “TO ALL!” The Struggle of the German Workers Radio Movement 1918–1933

14. Urban Music Box, Urban Hearing: Avraamov’s Symphony of Sirens in Baku and Moscow 1922/23—A Media-Archaeological Miniature

15. How One Sees

16. Lüology, Techno-Souls, Artificial Paradises: Fragments of an An-Archaeology of Sound Arts

17. Designing and Revealing: Some Aspects of a Genealogy of Projection

18. Allah’s Automata: Where Ancient Oriental Learning Intersects with Early Modern Europe; A Media-Archaeological Miniature by Way of Introduction

Publication History

Index