Artemis Takes Aim

Friedrich Kittler

Archaeology of Media Archaeology; Media Theory and New Materialism influenced by McLuhan
synthesis of Foucault, information theory, media history, and McLuhan's emphasis on the medium as the message
habilitation thesis; argued for need to adjust Foucault's emhasis on predominance of words and libraries to more media-specific ways of understanding culture; must consider material nature
role of institutions as nodes in the networkds of technical media; didn't neglect power-related implications of technology; has denied affiliation with the notion of media arch

"hardware media theory"
mathematics and engineering concretely construct worlds through modern technology
the importance of non-linear media history--the recursive; example Sirens: the same issue is taken up again and again at regular intervals but with different connotations and results (MT: regular intervals, or when there is a turn in theory?
key points: discourse networks (applied Foucault's methodological positions to media); 1. literature as media systems for transmitting, linking, and institutionalizing information a la Harold Innis; 2. how power works in the age of technical media; emphasis on importance of the technical as a system of inscription; wanted to map out the epistemic conditions for media--a mix of Foucauldean archaeology of conditions of knowledge, McLuhan-inspired interest in how media form our sensory and cognitive abilities, and a vision of media history that stems less from social history than from communication physics
says Shannon's engineering communication theory provides template for teaching how media work, but his odel doesn't ask about the being for whom the message connotes or denotes meaning
often uses fiction to support his analyses of new regimes of articulation where subjectivity is renegotiated in the complex network of new sciences of sensation and the brain; like McLuhan in being characterized a technological determinist, Kittler's work is more nuanced in its methodological way of tieing arts, sciences, and technology into co-constitutive interaction; a co-determining network of historical relations where aesthetics is also tightly interwoven with science and technology; literature and fiction are a methodological tool for approaching the effects of the hard core of science and technology; new technological and physical regimes introduced by media are regimes of sensation and the use to which we have to accommodate ourselves in order to be functioning subjects. we're secondary to such systems. (MT: Does Lasswell tie into this with political symbolism?)
posthuman thinker--careful media-archeaologically tuned analysis of the way technical media includes a new agency of the machine; programming of regulating the body and teaching it certain patterns and institutional relations
effects and affects of the body rather thanproducing meaning (MT: is this man as machine?)
his work has been embedded in a Lacanian understanding of the link between the body, the psyche, and media
interested in how the actual explanations and theories of Freud and Lacan should be historicized in terms of media technological changes; his archaeology and genealogy of the body as the inscription system uses the same method to look at inscriptions on the body by media
methods similar to Crary; the place of seemingly fundamental human qualities as language, communication, feeling, and creativity is actually in the link between the physiological and neurological basis and how that was mapped in emerging brain sciences, experimental laboratory practices, etc., which made the human body a new object of investigation
objects of media theorists' research consist of media for Kittler
read Shannon as a media theorist who prioritizes signal processing over semantics
ontological posthumanism stemmed from engineering, mathematics, and the primacy of system design over any hermeneutic perspective that looks for interpretation and meaning in the fashion understood by 19th century literature interpreters
ontologies of post-discourse network 1900 technical media now turned digital
writing technologies are to be understood no longer through natural languages, but through software languages and programs such as our word-processing ones
an analysis of a "protected mode"; our world is governed not only by language or even the hallucination of control through software languages, but by hardware, and, even more so, the proprietary logic that shuts off the machine from the end user through the protected mode, graphica user interfaces, or application culture
maps how Western metaphysics has neglected writing, mathematics, and technology, therefore we need to rethink metaphysical notions as form and matter and focus more on ontologies of media
materiality of the informatic machines is suddenly not form and matter, but about commands, addresses, and data, the basic structure we inherited from the von Neumann architecture of computer: registers, busses, and random access memory
logical basis for poststructuralist theories (Lacan, Foucault, Deleuze)
new cultural studies theorists
Kittler influenced how materiality of information society through its machines has given tools for expanding the media-archaelogical interest of knowledge as well


Diana L. Ascher, PhD, MBA, is a principal at Stratelligence and a co-founder of the Information Ethics & Equity Institute. Her lifelong interest in knowledge and decision making has focused on the evaluation, classification, organization, communication, and interpretation of information, and motivates her work in the fields of behavioral science, finance, higher education, information studies, journalism, law, leadership, management, medicine, and policy. She brings more than two decades of experience as a writer, editor, media director, and information strategist to her work.

DianaFriedrich Kittler

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