Reference : (De)Habituation Histories: How to Re-Sensitize Media Historians
Parts of books : Contribution to collective works
Arts & humanities : History
(De)Habituation Histories: How to Re-Sensitize Media Historians
Fickers, Andreas mailto [University of Luxembourg > Luxembourg Center for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH) > >]
Van den Oever, Annie [Rijksuniversiteit Groningen - RUG > Media Studies]
Hands-On Media History: A New Methodology in the Humanities and Social Sciences
Hall, Nick
Ellis, John
[en] media history ; media archaeology ; hands-on history ; experimental media archaeology ; sensitization ; history of senses
[en] In line with our earlier work, we will take the material object – the technological device – and, more specifically, the sensorial and experiential dimensions expressed in media use as a point of departure for our reflections. Why would the sensorial and experiential dimensions of media use be a relevant point of departure for such reflections? And, by extension: why would such reflections help to theoretically frame media newness? The answer, as we will argue, is that the (media) technologies used for communication and information purposes work quite differently on users than, for instance, technologies of transportation. Media technologies stand out amongst the broad range of technologies used by humans, such as trains, aeroplanes and elevators in as far as media technologies typically use representation as a means. As such, they affect users in a very specific way, quite different from trains and aeroplanes. Moreover, media technologies stand out among the media such as language because of their technical make-up, as Kittler has convingingly argued; for this reason, he labeled media technologies, somewhat tautologically as he would admit, “technical media”.
In Part 3, we will first discuss the concept of “technical media” to address the question of why and how media technologies require special treatment in both media and technology research in terms of the traces they leave in representation – with considerable implications for the user experience. Next, in Part 4, we will address the question as to why the sensorial effects created by technical media would typically be accompanied by a distinct experiential dimension and why this would help create the famous cyclical effects in the history of media use. In Parts 5 and 6, then, we will discuss the implications for media historiographical research.

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