WolfgangErnst, Professor of Media Theories at the Humboldt University in Berlin, has become known through his work on media archaeology. Hence the inclusion of this translation represents an alternative take on cultural techniques. It places the legacy of cultural studies, or Kulturwissenschaften, in an interesting tension with the different epistemological demands that technical media impose. After Vico and Dilthey, argues Ernst, we need to investigate the specific modes of knowledge that technical media propose to cultural techniques. (...)Ernst’s media archaeology and the slightly different approach to cultural techniques found in some other contributions in this issue can be seen as two of the most intriguing ways in which current German media studies has been developing in relation to Friedrich Kittler’s impact. For Ernst, this has resulted in a more technical focus and also in the development of critiques of temporality that go beyond media history. Ernst argues that media temporality is not to be understood only through the cultural history of media technologies, but also how media technologies produce time. Machines have their own specific temporality, Eigenzeit. It is in this context that the article discusses the different approaches to cultural techniques, taking into consideration the specific time-critical and epistemic implications of technical media. (shrink)
In German archival terminology, the term Akte (file) as the basic unit of storage corresponds with its actualization as discursive (re-)action: the word ‘acts’ can designate at once the content of what is to be archived and the archive itself (Derrida, 1995: 17). Whereas the network of Prussian state archives from post-Napoleonic Germany until the First World War figured as a non-discursive juridical Read Only Memory of internal autopoetic bureaucracy, the German Weimar Republic sought to develop a more democratically transparent (...) archival information politics. This remained, however, for the most part an aspiration of the new political culture, and it was never systematically adopted by state institutions. By contrast, the National Socialist regime was the first to make use of archival memory in a partisan, active manner; Akten were actively instrumentalized as part of the programme for the annihilation of European Jewry. This article, based on the German state archives and also on a case-study concerning the ideologization of the Nietzsche Archive in Weimar, examines archival micro-politics as the site of discursive repression and production, between the affirmation and the resistance of discretely segmented memory to holistic ideological demands. (shrink)
Media archaeology is not just a methodological claim but first of all a research practice of media culture. The case study described in this text is meant to demonstrate that archaeoacoustics can be applied to cultural aesthetics as well. The research expedition of April 2004 exploring the sonosphere of the Li Galli islands facing the Italian Amalfi coast measured the sonosphere of the acoustic theatre where the Homeric Sirens are supposed to have sung, resulting in surprising findings about the acoustic (...) real lurking behind the myth. The relation between media archaeology and aesthetics is a dialectic one: Only through the application of most positivistic acoustic measurement technologies can new evidence against the philological tradition be gained, while at the same time these data only make aesthetic sense when coupled with cultural knowledge. (shrink)
Media archaeological methods for extending the lifetime of new media into ‘old media’ have experienced a revival during the past years. In recent media theory, a new context for a debate surrounding media archaeology is emerging. So far media archaeology has been articulated together with such a heterogeneous bunch of theorists as Erkki Huhtamo, Siegfried Zielinski, Thomas Elsaesser and to a certain extent Friedrich Kittler. However, debates surrounding media archaeology as a method seem to be taking it forward not only (...) as a subdiscipline of history, but increasingly into what will be introduced as materialist media diagrammatics. This article maps some recent media archaeological waves in German media theory. The text addresses WolfgangErnst’s mode of media archaeology and his provocative accounts on how to rethink media archaeology as a fresh way of looking into the use and remediation of media history as a material monument instead of a historical narrative and as a recent media theoretical wave from Germany that seems to not only replicate Kittler’s huge impact in the field of materialist media studies but develop that in novel directions. However, as will be argued towards the end, Ernst’s provocative take that hopes to distinguish itself as a Berlin brand of media theory in its hardware materiality and time-critical focus resonates strongly with some of the recent new directions coming from US media studies, namely in software and platform studies. (shrink)
Carl Schmitt, Der Schatten Gottes: Introspektionen, Tagebücher und Briefe 1921 bis 1924, Hrsg. von Gerd Giesler, Ernst Hüsmert und Wolfgang H. Spindler, Berlin, Duncker & Humblot 2014. / Carl Schmitt, Tagebücher 1925 Bis 1929, Hrsg. von Martin Tielke und Gerd Giesler, Berlin, Duncker & Humblot, 2018 Petar Bojanić, Željko Radinković.
The article investigates Cassirer's developing interest in the cultural sciences to display how his Philosophy of Symbolic Forms constitutes a philosophy of culture. The core concept in such a philosophy of culture is the symbolic formation that both possesses a structured-structuring dimension and appears as an historical process in which culture shows itself as a temporal creation. The philosophy of culture displays 'life in meaning', that is reality as it exhibits human reality manifested in and through the medium of linguistic, (...) artistic, religious, scientific "and so on" action and behaviour. This reality, therefore, is mediation between culture and nature through human spirit. Cassirer's philosophy of culture connects back to Kant's transcendental idealism by emphasizing that any concept of reality establishes itself through a modalization of reality, e.g. that reality constitutes itself in the mode of interpretation. This makes the basis for Cassirer's characteristic understanding of hermeneutics where cultural development is regarded as drama. (shrink)
The Austrian philosopher Christian von Ehrenfels published his essay "On 'Gestalt Qualities'" in 1890. The essay initiated a current of thought which enjoyed a powerful position in the philosophy and psychology of the first half of this century and has more recently enjoyed a minor resurgence of interest in the area of cognitive science, above all in criticisms of the so-called 'strong programme' in artificial intelligence. The theory of Gestalt is of course associated most specifically with psychologists of the Berlin (...) school such as Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Kohler and Kurt Koffka. We shall see in what follows, however, that an adequate philosophical understanding of the Gestalt idea and of Ehrenfels' achievement will require a close examination not merely of the work of the Berlin school but also of a much wider tradition in Austrian and German philosophy in general. (shrink)
Ernst-Wolfgang Böckenförde is one of Europe's foremost legal scholars and political thinkers. As a scholar of constitutional law and a judge on Germany's Federal Constitutional Court, Böckenförde has been a major contributor to contemporary debates in legal and political theory, to the conceptual framework of the modern state and its presuppositions, and to contested political issues such as the rights of the enemies of the state, the constitutional status of the state of emergency, citizenship rights, and challenges of (...) European integration. His writings have shaped not only academic but also wider public debates from the 1950s to the present, to an extent that few European scholars can match. As a federal constitutional judge and thus holder of one the most important and most trusted public offices, Böckenförde has influenced the way in which academics and citizens think about law and politics. During his tenure as a member of the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court, several path-breaking decisions for the Federal Republic of Germany were handed down, including decisions pertaining to the deployment of missiles, the law on political parties, the regulation of abortion, and the process of European integration. In the first representative edition in English of Böckenförde's writings, this volume brings together his essays on constitutional and political theory. The volume is organized in four sections, focusing respectively on the political theory of the state; constitutional theory; constitutional norms and fundamental rights; and the relation between state, citizenship, and political autonomy. Each of these four cornerstones of Böckenförde's legal and political thinking features introductions to the articles as well as a running editorial commentary to the work. A second volume will follow this collection, focusing on the relation between religion, law, and democracy. (shrink)