Media Theory for the 21st Century

January 22, 2008

Ceci n’est pas un post

Filed under: Discussion — hbench @ 8:32 pm

This isn’t an official post, which would take more thought and time, but just some thoughts I had while reading.  

I am always astounded at how thoroughly I enjoy reading Kittler’s books, and how much I dislike his essays. Perhaps my scholarly indigestion could be traced back to any number of causes–my indifference to Turing, binary numbers, and the potential significance of √-1, for example, or the metallic taste that numbers, equations, and thought experiments leave in my mouth. But I think my problem with Kittler’s essays arises from his incessant use of obfuscating language. Kittler has become an oracle. I accept my own stupidity, in front of which both theorists and computers stutter, but wonder what I can glean from his god-like pronouncements.

On another note, I am perturbed by Kittler’s insistence upon the hardware. If, as Wellbery suggests, Kittler presupposes exteriority, mediality and corporeality in Discourse Networks (xiii-xv), then in “There is No Software” and “Protected Mode,” Kittler penetrates further–not into the soul, but the nervous tissue–the mechanical, electrical inner-workings. Mediation (cultural), gives way to medium (mechanical/physiological). It is as though Kittler wants to engage in a physical anthropology of computing. 

It may be true that everything remains hidden from the user, who is only given graphical representations of information to navigate. But I find hardware interesting only in relation to the surface effects it enables and/or produces, and what is produced by those effects in turn.

harmony

Advertisements

2 Comments »

  1. Contributing to the irreality of your “pas un post,” was that, for me, you wrote it, according to worpress, approximately 45 minutes after I read it. Either way I enjoyed and appreciated your, whatever you want to call it.

    Comment by nickroth — January 23, 2008 @ 3:45 am | Reply

  2. I’ve decided that if I read Kittler’s essays like I watch DumbType then it becomes much easier. All the deviant text as transcribed visual objects…

    Comment by hbench — January 23, 2008 @ 4:39 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: