Thursday, 18 October 2012

Don't call him a media philosopher!

It was one year ago that Friedrich A. Kittler died. The German newspapers reacted, and slowly, The Guardian too, with a couple of writings and a podcast. I think that was it, for the English-speaking mainstream press. I wrote this piece for The Guardian.

The academic discussion picked up speed even more, during the past year. It has included  fantastic pieces like the memoir by Geoffrey Winthrop-Young of the Kittler-before-Kittler (i.e. the early 1980s one) '"Well What Socks is Pynchon Wearing Today?" A Freiburg Scrapbook in Memory of Friedrich Kittler' in Cultural Politics Volume 8, Issue 3, and a forthcoming ZKM conference Of Gods and Scripts around the Mediterranean, newspapers are doing more stories.

Some newspaper stories did second rounds through social media repostings. Here is for instance FAZ: Jede Liebe war eine auf den ersten Blick.

Indeed, Kittler got the human (well, actually "spirit", "the mind", Geist - Geisteswissenschaften) out of humanities, and inserted the machine. Suddenly, inside the body we found all kinds of hardware. Typewriters, grammophones, circuit boards, computer chips.

However, don't inscribe "media philosopher" on his grave stone.

And no, he did not like being called a media archaeologist either.

No comments:

Post a comment