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Virtual Lucidity: A Media Archaeology Of Dream Hacking Wearables, Aleena Chia Mar 2019

Virtual Lucidity: A Media Archaeology Of Dream Hacking Wearables, Aleena Chia

communication +1

In 2014, engineers and entrepreneurs began meeting up in San Francisco to explore how virtual reality and lucid dreaming headsets using electroencephalography and other kinds of biofeedback could stimulate altered mental states. They called these practices “consciousness hacking” and referred to research, financing, and design efforts around these wearables as a movement. Unlike Quantified Self practitioners who combine bodily self-tracking and population analytics to optimize health and productivity, these hackers prod their bodies to gain immediacy to their consciousness. By turning perception inward, they attempt to displace the mediation of technologies. They believe hacking the mind through data-driven stimulation can ...


Religious Devices: A Survey Of Technologies Of Worship., Hugh Davies Mar 2019

Religious Devices: A Survey Of Technologies Of Worship., Hugh Davies

communication +1

Responding to the unannounced spiritual mysticism surrounding contemporary technologies, a religiosity present in the prayer-like devotion of social media piety to the cultish intensity surrounding each iPhone launch, this paper aims to dispel presumptions of the spiritual in opposition to the technological by surveying a range of media devices specifically developed for religious purposes. More than connecting scholarship in technology, media and religion, this survey recommends a new arc in the cultural examination of technology. As curious media artefacts, religious devices are independently worthy of study but they also offer a material past to the so-called “religion of Silicon Valley ...


The Battery Is The Message: Media Archaeology As An Energy Art Practice, Samir Bhowmik Mar 2019

The Battery Is The Message: Media Archaeology As An Energy Art Practice, Samir Bhowmik

communication +1

This text is an investigation of battery technologies and planned obsolescence in the context of energy consumption, electronic waste and environmental crisis as brought on by current communication technologies. Tracing the battery’s formative histories, the text examines its messy chemistries, entanglements with portable computing to current extraction of constituent minerals of Lithium and Cobalt as bundled into contemporary media devices. Building on Hertz and Parikka’s Media Archaeology as an Art Method, the author aims to extend this research and critique into an energy art practice. Here, media archaeology becomes a method to conduct critical and artistic examinations of ...


Queering Media Archaeology, Mira Stolpe Törneman Mar 2019

Queering Media Archaeology, Mira Stolpe Törneman

communication +1

This contribution outlines a theory of the performative nature of queer media agency. Drawing on key concepts in the work of Judith Butler and Michel Foucault, it looks at how media themselves can be queer and act subversively in relation to a historically contingent discursive order as well as on the impact of the continuum between material bodies and media as they are reconfigured in the digital. It highlights repetition and reproducibility as shared core concerns of queer theory and media archaeology and seeks to show that the former has a lot of bearing on the latter. Queer theory also ...


An (An)Archive Of Communication: Interactive Toys As Interlocutors, Nikita Braguinski Oct 2018

An (An)Archive Of Communication: Interactive Toys As Interlocutors, Nikita Braguinski

communication +1

In this article, I analyze the Speak & Spell electronic toy (Texas Instruments, 1978) from the perspective of the communication that it enables. I argue that such interactive devices can be seen as archives of future communication. As a media archaeologist working with electronic toys I often find the conceptualizations of these devices as mere tools for playing unsatisfactory. They seem to share more characteristics with archives than with instruments. Like archives, interactive toys hold in themselves a predefined choice of informations and interactions, thus enabling certain modes of inquiry and discouraging others. Especially the electronic toys that draw on algorithms ...


From Book To Bookish: Repurposing The Book In The Digital Era, Nicola Rodger Oct 2018

From Book To Bookish: Repurposing The Book In The Digital Era, Nicola Rodger

communication +1

Attacked. Defended. Worshipped. Ridiculed. Recycled. Books today are subject to all of these treatments. Books are used as home décor, mousepads, bill folders, and sculptures. Books are also pulped and anonymously converted into other, non-book related products. It is no coincidence that such transformations and transmutations abound, nor that these bookish forms are variously being shared, promoted or decried. The current digital era both encourages and enables this.

But why is the book object still celebrated? How do these celebrations of the book manifest? How much of the ongoing cultural interest in the book is driven by its materiality? Focusing ...


Cultural Techniques Of Mirroring From Lecanomancy To Lacan, George C. Vollrath Oct 2018

Cultural Techniques Of Mirroring From Lecanomancy To Lacan, George C. Vollrath

communication +1

Drawing on archaeological and historical evidence about the materials, production techniques, and ritualized use of mirrors in ancient and modern contexts, this paper demonstrates that potentials for self-recognition are subject to the material attributes of mirrors themselves. I argue that any theory of the self in communication theory must foreground mediated techniques of self-recognition if it wishes to understand the concepts of identity and identification in their cultural and historical specificity. I address mirrors from ancient Egypt, Mesoamerica, and Greece, biblical stories, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and modern psychological theory. In all cases, I find that a clear link ...


In History, The Future: Determinism In The Early History Of Photography In France, Emily Doucet Oct 2018

In History, The Future: Determinism In The Early History Of Photography In France, Emily Doucet

communication +1

Technological determinism and media specificity have profoundly shaped the history of photography—two strands of thought inherited from nineteenth century predecessors. Media archaeological approaches—while not always explicitly and perhaps, as Thomas Elsaesser has recently suggested, rather as symptom—have been taken up in the history of photography in response to long held narratives shaped by a disciplinary media determinism. This article explores discourses of futurity and historicity in early photographic writing in France, examining one thread in the early trajectory of media determinism in the history of photography. Taking up Eric Kluitenberg’s concept of “imaginary media”, this article ...


Sticky Media. Encounters With Oil Through Imaginary Media Archaeology, Naomie Gramlich Oct 2018

Sticky Media. Encounters With Oil Through Imaginary Media Archaeology, Naomie Gramlich

communication +1

This paper investigates how media archaeology and the concept of deep time could be taken literally, by bringing authors of early media studies (McLuhan, Innis) together with contemporary eco-material approaches (Gabrys, Parikka) on the topic of oil. Following these conjunctions of media and oil the article first traces certain prevailing narrations in media studies, before turning to the understanding of oil beyond its industrial uses and its catastrophic dimensions in the petro-imaginary of Satin Island by Tom McCarthy. In terms of imaginary media archeology, petro-imaginary provides a conceptual space in which a new relation of images of material reality to ...


Constructing The Invisible - Computer Graphics And The End Of Optical Media, Ricardo Cedeño Montaña, Christina Vagt Oct 2018

Constructing The Invisible - Computer Graphics And The End Of Optical Media, Ricardo Cedeño Montaña, Christina Vagt

communication +1

This media archaeology of early computer graphics tackles the relation between the imaginary and technical media. We focus on the algorithmic procedures and mathematical principles driving 3D computer graphics during the 1970’s and we frame them in a discussion about the end of optical media and a reflection on the current situation in which images, commanded by techno-codes, delineate and structure the dominant code of communication with which we imagine. Even though algorithmic simulations of optical worlds do not represent the end of optical media as Friedrich Kittler once argued, computer graphics can be seen retrospectively as an escalation ...


Introduction: Currents In Communication And The Media Archaeological, Zachary Mcdowell, Nathanael Bassett Oct 2018

Introduction: Currents In Communication And The Media Archaeological, Zachary Mcdowell, Nathanael Bassett

communication +1

No abstract provided.


Streetcar Desires: The Death Of The Arlington Streetcar And The Cultural Politics Of Smart Growth Development, Timothy A. Gibson Oct 2017

Streetcar Desires: The Death Of The Arlington Streetcar And The Cultural Politics Of Smart Growth Development, Timothy A. Gibson

communication +1

In 2014, Arlington County—an affluent suburb of Washington, DC—became embroiled in a bitter political debate over a proposed streetcar line on Columbia Pike, a street that traverses some of the County’s last remaining working-class and new immigrant neighborhoods. Viewed alternatively as vanguard for gentrification, a symbol of sustainable development, and a big government boondoggle, the proposed streetcar brought to the surface ideological and class antagonisms which are typically muted in Arlington’s broadly liberal-progressive political culture. Drawing on comments posted on a local news blog as well as interviews with advocates, this paper examines the streetcar debate ...


City Planning Rhetorics And The Cultural Trope Of Opportunity, Mary E. Triece Oct 2017

City Planning Rhetorics And The Cultural Trope Of Opportunity, Mary E. Triece

communication +1

Historians and sociologists have explored past and present processes of urban segregation, development, and displacement of minority and low income communities, and policy questions surrounding barriers to housing and the ways residents interact with community institutions. As communication scholars, we have a unique opportunity to

add critical insights regarding the cultural meaning making of urban planning discourses. This article asks: How do cultural assumptions embedded in the myth of American opportunity shape urban planning processes? I examine two city planning documents—Detroit Future City and Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide Plan—for the ways references to opportunity construct an optimistic understanding ...


A Critical Discourse Analysis Of The Intellectual Property Chapter Of The Tpp: Confirming What The Critics Fear, Karyn Hollis Oct 2017

A Critical Discourse Analysis Of The Intellectual Property Chapter Of The Tpp: Confirming What The Critics Fear, Karyn Hollis

communication +1

A host of organizations and citizens groups have convincingly pointed out that so called “Free Trade Agreements” have done more harm than good to the U.S. and other countries involved. Thanks to their protests, for the moment, the most ambitious multinational, neoliberal project of our young century, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), has been defeated. If the agreement had been adopted, the TPP would have shaped new rules of trade for over 8 million people, spanning 40% of the global economy. Using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), my study shows how the complex language of the actual treaty compared to its ...


The Dod's Cultural Policy: Militarizing The Cultural Industries, Tanner Mirrlees Oct 2017

The Dod's Cultural Policy: Militarizing The Cultural Industries, Tanner Mirrlees

communication +1

In pursuit of this Special Issue’s goal to “push the traditional boundaries of cultural policy studies,” this article conceptualizes the US Department of Defense (DoD) as a cultural policy agency. All cultural policy is goal-oriented and aims to act within and have effects upon “the cultural.” Cultural policy scholars examine how State agencies, policies, and regulations act upon to influence: the cultural industries; cultural texts; and, national identities and citizen-subjects. Although the US Federal government has no official cultural policy agency like Canada (the Department of Heritage) or France (the Ministry of Culture), this article conceptualizes the DoD—one ...


Media:Culture:Policy, Or What We Talk About When We Talk About (Cultural) Policy, Sean Johnson Andrews, Janice Peck, Gilbert B. Rodman, Fan Yang (杨帆) Oct 2017

Media:Culture:Policy, Or What We Talk About When We Talk About (Cultural) Policy, Sean Johnson Andrews, Janice Peck, Gilbert B. Rodman, Fan Yang (杨帆)

communication +1

The relationship between culture and policy has long been a major topic for media and cultural studies. With this issue, we hope to broaden the meaning of cultural policy, from policies that are explicitly regulating something we call the “cultural” (including media or traditional rituals or symbols) to include the practice of policy-making and the cultural legitimation of law and policy itself, regardless of the object or dimension of social life it regulates. The essays in this issue argue for (or at least accept) an understanding of policy as a cultural production representing certain ideological outlooks, and thus implicitly suggest ...


Internet Of Things And Automation Of Imaging: Beyond Representationalism, Anna Nacher Sep 2016

Internet Of Things And Automation Of Imaging: Beyond Representationalism, Anna Nacher

communication +1

It is no doubt that the production of digital imagery invites for the major update of theoretical apparatus: what up until now was perceived solely or primarily as the stable representation of the world gives way to the image understood in terms of “the continuous actualization of networked data”[1] or “networked terminal”.[2] In my article I would like to argue that analysis of this new visual environment should not be limited to the procedures of data processing. What also invites serious investigation is acknowledging the reliance of contemporary media ecology on wireless communication which according to Adrian Mackenzie ...


The Vital Network: An Algorithmic Milieu Of Communication And Control, Sandra Robinson Phd Sep 2016

The Vital Network: An Algorithmic Milieu Of Communication And Control, Sandra Robinson Phd

communication +1

The biological turn in computing has influenced the development of algorithmic control and what I call the vital network: a dynamic, relational, and generative assemblage that is self-organizing in response to the heterogeneity of contemporary network processes, connections, and communication. I discuss this biological turn in computation and control for communication alongside historically significant developments in cybernetics that set out the foundation for the development of self-regulating computer systems. Control is shifting away from models that historically relied on the human-animal model of cognition to govern communication and control, as in early cybernetics and computer science, to a decentred, nonhuman ...


Do Computers Write On Electric Screens?, Samuel Goyet, Cléo Collomb Sep 2016

Do Computers Write On Electric Screens?, Samuel Goyet, Cléo Collomb

communication +1

How do we, humans, communicate with computers, or computational machines? What are the activities do humans and machines share, what are the meeting points between the two? Eventually, how can we build concepts of these meeting points that leaves space for the proper mode of existence of both humans and machines, without subduing one to the other?

Computers are machines that operates on a scale different from humans: the calculus done by machines is too fast and untangible for humans. This is why computers' activities has to be textualized, put into a form that can be understand for humans. For ...


Introduction To "Machine Communication", Zachary J. Mcdowell, David J. Gunkel Sep 2016

Introduction To "Machine Communication", Zachary J. Mcdowell, David J. Gunkel

communication +1

No abstract provided.


Computational Interpersonal Communication: Communication Studies And Spoken Dialogue Systems, David J. Gunkel Sep 2016

Computational Interpersonal Communication: Communication Studies And Spoken Dialogue Systems, David J. Gunkel

communication +1

With the advent of spoken dialogue systems (SDS), communication can no longer be considered a human-to-human transaction. It now involves machines. These mechanisms are not just a medium through which human messages pass, but now occupy the position of the other in social interactions. But the development of robust and efficient conversational agents is not just an engineering challenge. It also depends on research in human conversational behavior. It is the thesis of this paper that communication studies is best situated to respond to this need. The paper argues: 1) that research in communication can supply the information necessary to ...


Data’S Intimacy: Machinic Sensibility And The Quantified Self, Sun-Ha Hong Sep 2016

Data’S Intimacy: Machinic Sensibility And The Quantified Self, Sun-Ha Hong

communication +1

Today, machines observe, record, sense the world – not just for us, but sometimes instead of us (in our stead), and even indifferently to us humans. And yet, we remain human. Correlationism may not be up to a comprehensive ontology, but the ways in which we encounter, and struggle to make some kind of sense of, machinic sensibility matters. The nature of that encounter is not instrumentality, or even McLuhanian extension, but a full-blown ‘relationship’ where the terms by which machines ‘experience’ the world, and communicate with each other, parametrises the conditions for our own experience. This essay will play out ...


Integration: Understanding New Mediation Via Innovations In Horror Cinema, Laurence A. Rickels Sep 2015

Integration: Understanding New Mediation Via Innovations In Horror Cinema, Laurence A. Rickels

communication +1

If television inherited the democratization tendencies of mass media, then digital media circumvented the impasse of politics and psychosis by a momentum that is more closely allied to integration. Beginning with the word “integration” it proves possible to go deeper than the term’s current associations in the headlines and revalorize the newly mediatized prospect of political change. It is an upgrade that becomes uniquely legible – as “alle-gory” – in recent alterations and alternations in media representation of occult and psycho horror.


Spreading The Spirit Word: Print Media, Storytelling, And Popular Culture In Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism, Simone Natale Sep 2015

Spreading The Spirit Word: Print Media, Storytelling, And Popular Culture In Nineteenth-Century Spiritualism, Simone Natale

communication +1

Spiritualists in the nineteenth century gave much emphasis to the collection of evidences of scientific meaning. During séances, they used instruments similar to those employed in scientific practice to substantiate their claims. However, these were not the only source of legitimization offered in support of the spiritualist claims. In fact, writers who aimed to provide beliefs in spiritualism with a reliable support relied very often on the testimonies of eyewitness that were reported in a narrative fashion. This article interrogates the role of such anecdotal testimonies in nineteenth-century spiritualism. It argues that they played a twofold role: on one side ...


The ‘Continuing Misfortune’ Of Automatism In Early Surrealism, Tessel M. Bauduin Sep 2015

The ‘Continuing Misfortune’ Of Automatism In Early Surrealism, Tessel M. Bauduin

communication +1

In the 1924 Manifesto of Surrealism surrealist leader André Breton (1896-1966) defined Surrealism as ‘psychic automatism in its pure state,’ positioning ‘psychic automatism’ as both a concept and a technique. This definition followed upon an intense period of experimentation with various forms of automatism among the proto-surrealist group; predominantly automatic writing, but also induced dream states. This article explores how surrealist ‘psychic automatism’ functioned as a mechanism for communication, or the expression of thought as directly as possible through the unconscious, in the first two decades of Surrealism. It touches upon automatic writing, hysteria as an automatic bodily performance of ...


Ghosts Of The City: A Spectrology Of Cinematic Spaces, Petra Löffler Sep 2015

Ghosts Of The City: A Spectrology Of Cinematic Spaces, Petra Löffler

communication +1

This paper investigates how, in early cinema, in-between spaces were created that were receptive to scenes of haunting. Adopting Derrida’s notions of a hauntology and a spectrology it argues for a genuine productivity of cinematic space that is able to build ghostly environments without incorporating an actual specter. This productivity is described as ‘making appear’ and ‘making act’. Furthermore, the paper explains how, in the era of silent cinema, cinematic techniques were used to create scenes of haunting.


The Ghostularity, Jeffrey Sconce Sep 2015

The Ghostularity, Jeffrey Sconce

communication +1

What will be the fate of ME in the realm of digital ME-ness?


Facts And Photographs: Visualizing The Invisible With Spirit And Thought Photography, Margarida Medeiros Sep 2015

Facts And Photographs: Visualizing The Invisible With Spirit And Thought Photography, Margarida Medeiros

communication +1

Photography has been related to a positivist aim since its beginning and its genealogy is generally drawn from the realism of the camera obscura. But when it comes to the sort of photographs usually called “spirit photography” and “fluid and thought photography”, classic theorists like Barthes, Rosalind Krauss and Tom Gunning tend to relate this practice with the magic and the ‘uncanny’ reception that occurred at its very beginnings. In this paper I will point out that the main question is to question the possibility of a “spiritualist document”, and, in this sense, we will connect this issue to the ...


Self-Writing Machines: Technology And The Question Of The Self, Christian Kassung Sep 2015

Self-Writing Machines: Technology And The Question Of The Self, Christian Kassung

communication +1

In order to show that technology mediates between man and machine, I will discuss in this text a literally other or alter-knowledge system that also heavily relied on self-writing machines: spiritualism. Contrary to scientific knowledge systems, in spiritualism the unforeseen, the singular, and the disturbance is what counts as, and produces, significance. That is the reason why alter-concepts such as spiritualism, esotericism, or occultism are not typically recognized as innovative agencies in the history of knowledge. Hence, what is needed to raise the question of a non-hegemonic knowledge production is a symmetrical approach in the history of technology.


Fragile Balance: Human Mediums And Technical Media In Oliver Lodge's Presidential Address Of 1891, Erhard Schuettpelz, Ehler Voss Sep 2015

Fragile Balance: Human Mediums And Technical Media In Oliver Lodge's Presidential Address Of 1891, Erhard Schuettpelz, Ehler Voss

communication +1

In this paper we discuss the work of the Victorian physicist and radio pioneer Oliver Lodge (1851–1940) in the context of what we call the mediumistic trial of the long 19th century. We are focusing on a short moment in the early 1890s when Lodge’s radio experiments were part of a common expansion into physical and psychical research. By rigorously applying David Bloor's heuristic "principle of symmetry", we demonstrate how Oliver Lodge lived in a world of systems-building and Empire-building that enabled him to categorize human mediums, electromagnetic entities and technical media as parts of an indeterminate ...