Régis Debray: Media Manifestos: On the Technological Transmission of Cultural Forms (1994/1996)

17 May 2010, dusan

Media Manifestos sums up over a decade of Régis Debray’s research and writing on the evolution of systems of communication. Debray announces the battle-readiness of a new sub-discipline of the sciences humaines: “mediology.” Scion of that semiology of the sixties linked with the names of Roland Barthes and Umberto Eco — and trans-Atlantically affiliated to the semiotics of C.S. Peirce and the media analyses of Marshall McLuhan (“medium is message”) — “mediology” is yet in (dialectical) revolt against its parent thought-system. Determined not to lapse back into the empiricism and psychologism with which semiology broke, mediology is just as resolved to dispel the illusion of the signifier, slough off the scolasticism of the code, and recover the world — in all its mediatized materiality.

Written with Debray’s customary brio, Media Manifestos is no mere contribution to “media studies.” Steeped in the intellectual ethos of Althusser and Foucault, informed by the historical work of the Annales school, and yet plugged in to today’s audiovisual culture, Debray’s book turns a neologism (“mediology”) into a tool-kit with which to rethink the whole business of mediation.

First published as Manifestes médiologiques, Gallimard, 1994.

Translated by Eric Rauth
Publisher Verso, 1996
ISBN 1859840876, 9781859840870
179 pages

Review (Imre Szeman, Cultural Logic, 1998)
Review (John Conomos, RealTime, 1997)


PDF (updated on 2012-11-19)

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