INTRODUCTION: FRIEDRICH KITTLER’S LIGHT SHOWS John Durham Peters Optical Media may be Friedrich Kittler’s best book for the uniniti- ated. It is breezy . Optical Media provides an accessible introduction to the media theory of Kittler’s middle period as it applies primarĀ¬ ily to the optical realm. (Kittler’s chief interest. Optical Media by Friedrich A. Kittler, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.

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At that time, it was mandatory for novice craftsmen to serve an apprenticeship, just as it is today, and Brunelleschi served his under a goldsmith. Table of contents Features Preliminary Remarks 1.

And when one considers that contemporary novelists like Thomas Pynchon who will play the role of a principal witness for film and television in these lectures have had all photographs of themselves destroyed, it is possible to measure the abyss between literature and optical media. It should have already become implicitly clear – but to allay any fears I will say it again – that the problems posed by writing and its aesthetics will certainly not be left out.

Friedrich Kittler

At the beginning of our next meeting, I will attempt to provide you with a systematic introduction to this topic by first of all presenting the basic concepts that Claude Shannon developed in his mathematical theory of communication – otherwise known as modern information theory Shannon and Weaver, You are currently using the site but have requested a page in the site. The point of his example, however, is only that chemically pure information becomes a correlate of chemically pure destruction.

Einstein was thus strangely and unforeseeably in agreement with Heidegger that the explosion of information is more dangerous than all atomic bombs.


An image had its place: The great breakthrough of analog media is the storage and manipulation of temporal process; the great problem is the lack of interoperability between systems. Table of contents Preliminary Remarks 1.

In contrast to such a history of motion pictures, which must bend all possible facts, one could derive the exact opposite lesson from film technology itself: It is a medium: In doing so, however, I am taking on an apparently impossible task: It is not without reason that Bill Gates attempted in the last few years to realign his quasi-monopoly on computer operating systems with yet another iittler on digital images.

With the way things are today, however, that is not the end of the matter, and these lectures will not end there.

Optical Media

Cryptographic specialists were only employed in the Vatican and by the Signoria in Venice, where modern diplomacy in general originated.

The optical media in my title all act and operate in that shadow, which the sun, according to Leonardo, does not see.

In place of the missing history of the industry, which is and remains merely suggested, these lectures will stress two other themes, which follow quite directly from my previous comments on McLuhan. It is precisely because they are not yet able to walk and their immature central nervous systems have not yet registered the unity of their own bodies that they project a closed, visually perfect identity onto the mirror image.

His conclusions leap like lightning.

The Voice Imitator: Friedrich Kittler: Optical Media

Because moving images could not be stored in his own time, Plato equated the immortal and therefore self-storing soul with a wax writing slate, the medium of his own philosophy. As you have probably already guessed, the technical spectacle did not sit well with the theoretical one. According to Lacan, this is how the ego itself emerges from the imaginary. Is it seeing a film, a television broadcast, a painting, or a detail from so-called nature that optocal to the Greek word it projects from within itself?


Kittler begins by looking at European painting since the Renaissance in order to discern the principles according to which modern optical perception was organized.

I have not forgotten the seemingly more obvious title Film and Television History, but rather I have simply avoided it.

These stations were earlier painted in spatial and temporal succession in churches or along the Way of the Cross, such as St. You may have guessed, however, that this modem precept would not frieedrich be embraced by the one true church.

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Before this technical break, on the other hand, lectures were not visual at all. Brunelleschi therefore made a hole in the panel on which the picture was painted; and this hole was in fact exactly at the spot on the painting where [in reality] the eye would strike on the church of S.

Indeed, one context for Optical Media is the establishment of media studies at Humboldt University, which, as the former University of Berlin, is the ground zero of the modern research university. In other words, a reversed image could hardly have been produced by hand in Form is henceforth divorced from matter.