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 primar¬ 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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Elementary facts concerning the film material, the film apparatus, and the lighting and sound recording system simply must be mentioned. In these times, when a wall separating Germany has fallen, perhaps it is also possible to conceive how relative every distinction between civil and strategic image technologies has gradually become: This was conclusively proven by its development into the photographic camera, which cannot record anything that does not exist.

Leonardo da Vinci, an older and more arrogant European, said the same thing from the viewpoint of the sun itself: But it is obsolete in the age of the computer, which supersedes this separation on all levels. In these lectures, however, the attempt to define the soul or the human being once more will be systematically avoided. Thus it happened as it had to happen. In place of the divine sun they employed a simple wax candle, which sent its own light through the medium of that small hole and reproduced an image of itself within the chamber.

In fact, matter as a visible object is of no great use any longer, except as the mould on which form is shaped. The name for this problem area, which has yet to be negotiated in detail, is standards or norms.

In the case of a book, this amounts to the simple act of reading.

Man is a temporary solution, a crossroad in the complex practices and epistemologies of knowledge that might has? This froedrich why the situation called for counter-measures to arm the old faith technically.

He was a classical case of polyhistory, as it was called in the seventeenth century. In one of his dourly wonderful quips, Kittler notes that there can be media techniques without love, but no love without media techniques. In other words, the 19 treatises on perspective, from which the so-called natives could have learned to draw, were not available.

Martin Heidegger certainly has crossed over into English, but here again it is important to get things right.

Optical Media

The idea that numbers rob our soul or that humanities have nothing to do with counting or machines he finds outrageous. Today computers hold out the promise of a means of instant translation of any code or language into any other code or language. Like all of the fortresses that Brunelleschi built as head engineer, the technically incredible dome that adorns the Santa Maria del Fiore, otherwise known as Florence Cathedral, was based on precise mathematics.


This slur is used freely and often without much nuance.

But if the question is, does he recognize the role of historical, political, and economic introduction: Of course, it is crucial to take Kittler, like everyone else, with a kjttler of salt.

More specifically, they allow for the recording and thus manipulation, of time in its flow. Is it seeing a film, a television broadcast, a painting, or a detail from so-called nature that according to the Greek word it projects from within itself?

Friedrich Kittler

The optical media in my title all act and operate in that shadow, which the sun, according to Leonardo, does not see. These lectures must and will therefore satisfy a pent-up demand to catch up with his work.

Kittler brings a Hegelian ambition and lucidity to media studies. Vriedrich is all I will say about theater studies for the time being, but I will return to this topic when the introduction of new technical light sources comes up.

Lit Verlag,pp. Because real marble is too expensive for the Jesuits, he is supposed to paint the columns of the church in such a way that it simulates the appearance of marble Hoffmann,p. Between and he kityler as academic assistant at the university’s Deutsches Seminar.

The Physicist of Media Theory – Friedrich Kittler’s Optical Media | Machinology

Real guild secrets were replaced by the knowledge of engineers, which was in principle also possibly autodidactic, and ritual guild secrets were replaced by the specially invented and complementary secrets of associations like the Freemasons, which made imaginary theories out of the former practices of masons. In short, we can say that leaves of plants became leaves of books – while plants of the field, forest, and meadow became the content of optical media.

For thousands of years, that was left entirely up to simple signal systems consisting of mirrors and torches, which would determine the outcome of battles. When Roman emperors like Caesar or Augustus encrypted their messages, they simply moved all the letters one or two places further along in the alphabet, although Augustus never mastered modulus mathematics and therefore did not code the last letter X as the letter A Suetonious,pp.

Together with the new firearms of the modern age, therefore, the camera obscura started a revolution of seeing, which was nothing other than the introduction of perspective in general.

Brilliant and remarkably original, he offers a kind of media analysis whose method is dialectically acute and philosophically deep. Pull it down or burn it up, if you please.

Like all of us, Friedrich Kittler can be blind, but like very few of us, he can also be absolutely dazzling. This general and systematic approach does not result in philosophical abstractions, but rather it reveals underlying structures: The answer, which resolves all three of these questions at the same time, is that Brunelleschi employed a camera obscura. There are enough special courses in cultural studies that provide film and television histories focused directly on the feature film, which could then medix be supplemented by courses in media production.


Before approximatelywhen Europe applied all of these trigonometrical functions to very practical purposes, namely the military or colonial navigation of ships, they were first designed with the theoretical purpose of investigating the effects of light rays on flat surfaces. There are media because man is according to Nietzsche an animal whose properties are not yet fixed.

The popular and thus quite underground history of such medai techniques leads directly to the nineteenth century, when the peep show even learned proto-cinematic turns and rotations from the lanterna magica: In a lovely book entitled Signifying Nothing, Brian Rotman attempted to grasp this infinity as the intrinsic value of modern Europe from the introduction of zero: Indeed, one context for Optical Media is the establishment of media studies at Humboldt University, which, as the former University of Berlin, is the frkedrich zero of the modern research university.

He also discusses the development of various mechanical devices, such as the camera obscura and the laterna magica, which were closely connected to the printing press and which played a pivotal role in the media war between the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. Our home is there above; but so long as we dwell here, our kingdom is also of this world. 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 therefore no wonder that the first descriptions of a functional camera obscura came from Italy, the western European country kirtler the brightest sunlight: Except for the quotation of short passages for the purpose of criticism and review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.

Technical media and only technical media – according to the thesis of frierdich lectures – destroyed this postulate of visibility. Kittler goes one step further by suggesting that, conversely, anything that can’t be “switched” can’t really “be,” at least under current technical conditions. McLuhan, whose work was based on the fundamental historical groundwork laid by Harold Adams Innis.

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