The Technological Introject: Friedrich Kittler between Implementation and the Incalculable

The Technological Introject: Friedrich Kittler between Implementation and the Incalculable

The Technological Introject: Friedrich Kittler between Implementation and the Incalculable

The Technological Introject: Friedrich Kittler between Implementation and the Incalculable

Synopsis

The Technological Introject explores the futures opened up across the humanities and social sciences by the influential media theorist Friedrich Kittler. Joining the German tradition of media studies and systems theory to the Franco-American theoretical tradition marked by poststructuralism, Kittler’s work has redrawn the boundaries of disciplines and of scholarly traditions.

The contributors position Kittler in relation to Marshall McLuhan, Jacques Derrida, discourse analysis, film theory, and psychoanalysis. Ultimately, the book shows the continuing relevance of the often uncomfortable questions Kittler opened up about the cultural production and its technological entanglements.

Excerpt

Jeffrey Champlin and Antje Pfannkuchen

Born on June 12, 1943, Friedrich Kittler left us on October 18, 2011. He had been living and teaching in Berlin. At once a renegade and an outstanding scholar with foundational tendencies, he has left his mark on American discursive practices. An extreme advocate of critical innovation, Kittler opens fields of inquiry that surpass in aim and range the boundaries of academic disciplines and scientific discourse. Addressing the arts and sciences responsibly—if with skeptical acumen—Kittler enjoins us to review and revise what we think we know about the premises that continue to make established perspectives viable. His ability to capture the essence of technology and its poetic counterparts casts a wide net, building on a unique understanding of network vitality. a world class techno-scientific theorist, he also speaks to our need for poetic utterance, especially when it comes to gauging the flex of scientific muscle.

Kittler’s adherence to poetic claims and aspirations gave him a keen and consistent sense of what counts as well as that which is discounted in terms of the cultural and scientific life-forms that bind us. He was unafraid of visiting with the abysses known to a select aggregate of seers: the far-sighted poets, philosophical purveyors of truth or contestation, and intuitive scientific minds of our era whose relentless probes populated his oeuvre. a highly refined troubleshooter, Kittler, for his part, has consistently demonstrated a flair for ferreting out the snags and catastrophic urges of modernity. in many respects, the most contemporary and timely of thinkers—he could skip with joyful assertion from random access memory to optical media and engineering formalism, from Pynchon to Pink Floyd—he always had strong recourse to tradition, even if his intention was to break with recognizable types of knowledge in edgy and determined ways. As with those exemplary critical minds that have grappled in the twentieth century with effects of the scientific will to power, Kittler, too, reserves a special place for Goethe, the unbeatable poet-scientist . . .

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