Siegfried Zielinski: Deep Time of the Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means (2002–) [EN, ES]

16 December 2014, dusan

“Siegfried Zielinski argues that the history of the media does not proceed predictably from primitive tools to complex machinery; in Deep Time of the Media, he illuminates turning points of media history—fractures in the predictable—that help us see the new in the old.

Drawing on original source materials, Zielinski explores the technology of devices for hearing and seeing through two thousand years of cultural and technological history. He discovers the contributions of ‘dreamers and modelers’ of media worlds, from the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles and natural philosophers of the Renaissance and Baroque periods to Russian avant-gardists of the early twentieth century. ‘Media are spaces of action for constructed attempts to connect what is separated,’ Zielinski writes. He describes models and machines that make this connection: including a theater of mirrors in sixteenth-century Naples, an automaton for musical composition created by the seventeenth-century Jesuit Athanasius Kircher, and the eighteenth-century electrical tele-writing machine of Joseph Mazzolari, among others.”

Originally published as Archäologie der Medien: Zur Tiefenzeit des technischen Hörens und Sehens, Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg, 2002.

Foreword by Timothy Druckrey
Translated by Gloria Custance
Publisher MIT Press, 2006
ISBN 0262240491, 9780262240499
375 pages

Reviews: Simon Werrett (Technology and Culture, 2007), Digital Creativity (2007), Simone Natale (Canadian Journal of Communication, 2012), Stephanie Lam (n.d.).

Publisher (EN)
WorldCat (EN)

Deep Time of the Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means (English, trans. Gloria Custance, 2006, 10 MB)
Arqueología de los Medios. Hacia el tiempo profundo de la visión y la audición técnica (Spanish, trans. Alvaro Moreno-Hoffmann, 2011, 9 MB, added 2015-6-1 via Will, updated on 2018-8-23)

Friedrich Kittler: The Truth of the Technological World: Essays on the Genealogy of Presence (2013/2014) [DE, EN]

15 December 2014, dusan

“Few German scholars in the past 50 years have had such a lasting impact on the cultural situation of our time, including its academic institutions, as Friedrich Kittler. It is in large part due to his writings that the radio, the gramophone, and the computer are not just objects of cultural fascination, but also of philosophical reflection.

This volume contains a collection of essays written by Kittler over the course of 40 years which serve as a testament to the enormous breadth, intensity, and the singular creativity of his thought.”

German edition
Edited and with an Afterword by Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht
Publisher Suhrkamp, Berlin, 2013
ISBN 9783518732984
432 pages

English edition
Translated by Erik Butler
Publisher Stanford University Press, 2014
ISBN 9780804792622
400 pages

Publisher: DE, EN
Worldcat: DE, EN

Die Wahrheit der technischen Welt (EPUB), EPUB (German)
The Truth of the Technological World (EPUB), EPUB (English)

More from Kittler

Juan García Castillejo: Fast Telegraphy, the Trikeyboard and Electric Music (1944) [Spanish]

8 July 2014, dusan

In this curious book, a Spanish priest proposes to combine the developments in telegraphy, teleprinter keyboards, typewriters and “electric music”. He describes how in the 1930s he built and perfected an ”electro-composition device”, equipped with lamps, transformers, capacitors, resistors, dozens of speakers and several engines.

He intended to cause the perforations in the telegraphic tape to be automatically selected by different engines that would trigger the various sound tracks recorded, and thus cause each of the “books on the perforated tape” to become an “audio book”. The purpose behind this idea was to enable the future creation of “spoken libraries” and “speech archives” in which the item being searched for could be instantly found. He performed practical experiments by means of a radio station where he managed to make the radio transmitter “speak automatically”, repeatedly broadcasting random announcements without anyone being present. He also intended this “talking device” to become an electric orchestra that composed “a music of chance configurations that was subjected to a number of panels governing its harmonic possibilities”, as well as bearing in mind the multiple possibilities that it offered in the field of improvisation.

Castillejo wrote several essays for a humour section of a radio magazine, which would imply that a concert was going to be broadcasted, when in fact it was the electro-composer instrument. In 1933, the director of Unión Radio, in Valencia paid him a visit him in order to evaluate how feasible its implementation in the radio station would be, although, due to the cost and difficulty in “providing a constant voltage for an electric demand that varied according to the use of a greater or lesser number of musical notes”, the project was shelved and fell into oblivion, and, with it, the contribution of the author. (from a summary by Miguel Molina Alarcón, 2006, pp 16-17)

Since 2008, Premio Cura Castillejo, a major Spanish award for sound art and experimental music is named in his honor.

La telegrafía rápida: el triteclado y la música eléctrica
Published in Valencia, 1944
347 pages
via Anna / Ràdio Web MACBA, via Ccapitalia.net

Commentary (Miguel Molina Alarcón, 2006, in English, pp 16-17)
Commentary (Miguel Molina Alarcón, 2006, in Spanish)
Commentary (Adolfo García Yagüe, 2014, in Spanish)
Tribute concert announcement (2013)

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