Discourse 31(1/2): On The Genealogy of Media (2009)

26 February 2014, dusan

“‘On the Genealogy of Media’ invokes a tradition for thinking about technology, which passes from Nietzsche through Heidegger and Freud. As a collection on media, however, these texts gathered together in this special issue include few Nietzsche readings—or even Nietzsche references—in their thread count. Indeed, Nietzsche is not typically considered a thinker of media technologies. But his genealogical interpretation of the Mass media as being on one uncanny continuum of valuation from Christianity to nihilism influenced, together with either Freud’s or Heidegger’s input, the media essays of Walter Benjamin as much as the media oeuvre of Friedrich Kittler. Following Nietzsche, then, a genealogy of media means, as in Heidegger’s questioning of technicity, that whatever technology may be it presupposes assumption of a certain (discursive) ready positioning for (and before) its advent as actual machines to which the understanding of technologization cannot be reduced. Freudian psychoanalysis views media technologies as prosthetically modeled after body parts and partings. A primary relationship to loss (as the always-new frontier of mourning where reality, the future, the other begin or begin again) is, on Freud’s turf and terms, the psychic ready position that is there before the event or advent of machinic externalities.” (from the Introduction)

With texts by Friedrich A. Kittler, Klaus Theweleit, Craig Saper, Gregory L. Ulmer, Rebecca Comay, Laurence A. Rickels, Barbara Stiegler, Tom Cohen and Avital Ronell.

Guest Editor: Laurence A. Rickels
Publisher Wayne State University Press, 2009
ISSN 1522-5321
182 pages
via Project Muse



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