Eric Kluitenberg (ed.): Book of Imaginary Media: Excavating the Dream of the Ultimate Communication Medium (2006)
Filed under book | Tags: · cinema, machine, media, media archeology, paleontology
“Where people fail our machines will succeed – it seems to be one of the most stubborn myths in Western society. We are incessantly being bombarded with films, books, street advertising and commercials about new gadgets, new media and new futures that seem suspiciously similar to all that precedes. Imagine the power … of the umpteenth gadget. Imagine … that technology can go where no human has ever gone before, that technology can succeed where no human has succeeded – not only in space or in nature, but also in the interpersonal, specifically in communication with the other.
This book investigates those technological myths and the dream of the ultimate communication medium from multiple perspectives. Building on insights provided by media archeology, Siegfried Zielinski, Bruce Sterling, Erkki Huhtamo and Timothy Druckrey spin a web of connections between the wonderful fantasy machines of Athanasius Kircher, the mania of stereoscopy, ‘dead’ media and archeological media art. Edwin Carels and Zoe Beloff descend into the cinematographic caverns of spiritualism and the iconography of death, while Eric Kluitenberg and John Akomfrah lift the lid on the imaginary connection machines and the ‘mothership connection’.”
Publisher NAi, Rotterdam, with De Balie, Amsterdam, 2006
ISBN 9789056625399, 905662539X
via Media Archaeology Reconfigured
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Filed under book | Tags: · aesthetics, anthropology, art, art history, cognition, language, memory, paleontology, prehistory, rhythm, speech, technics, technology
“André Leroi-Gourhan (1911-1986) was an anthropologist and paleontologist whose theoretical endeavors extended well beyond those realms to encompass the culture of the twentieth century and its most advanced developments. His bold and coherent revision of both analytic and archaeological methods revolutionized the study of prehistoric culture. His adoption of the structuralist method for the analysis of prehistoric art enabled a radical rethinking and clearer understanding of its nature, with resulting implications for the understanding of the art of our own times, and for a broad range of contemporary issues.
Leroi-Gourhan was, for example, concerned with questions of communication, particularly the ways in which new techniques of communication reshape our understanding of language and writing. His work in this field has proved catalytic for the thinking of other major theorists, among them Jacques Derrida. Gesture and Speech combines in one volume Technics and Language and Memory and Rhythms, which are the cornerstones of Leroi-Gourhan’s comprehensive theory of human behavior and cultural development.
In Technics and Language, Leroi-Gourhan looks at prehistoric technology in relation to the development of cognitive and linguistic faculties, expanding on the cultural ramifications of erect posture, a short face, a free hand during locomotion, and possession of movable implements.
Memory and Rhythms approaches its subject from the standpoints of sociology and aesthetics. Here Leroi-Gourhan addresses the problems of instinct and intelligence. He defines the relationship between aesthetic behavior, on the one hand, and species attitudes and the personalization of ethnic groups, on the other, and undertakes a sweeping aesthetic analysis from visceral perception to figurative art, including a discussion of the ‘language of forms’ that makes figurative art an abstract expression of language.”
Originally published in French under the title Le Geste et la parole (t.1: Technique et langage; t.2: La mémoire et les rythmes), Albin Michel, Paris, 1964 and 1965.
Translated by Anna Bostock Berger
Introduction by Randall White
Publisher MIT Press, 1993
October Books series
ISBN 0262121735, 9780262121736
El gesto y la palabra (Spanish, trans. Felipe Carrera D., 1971, 20 MB, added on 2015-2-19)
Il gesto e la parola (Italian, trans. Franco Zannino, 1977, 9 MB, added on 2015-2-19)
Gesture and Speech (English, trans. Anna Bostock Berger, 1993, 10 MB)