Tag Archives: media studies

The Un-dead and Media Theory

‘Once memories and dreams, the dead and ghosts, become technically reproducible, readers and writers no longer need the powers of hallucination. Our realm of the dead has withdrawn from the books in which it resided for so long. As Diodor of Sicily once wrote, “it is no longer only through writing that the dead remain in the memory of the living.”‘ [1]

Now we access the dead using the social networks as a public memory database with a multimedia interface. The next step (which already has been taken, though) would be merging the avatar of the deceased with the artificial intelligence, thus providing the ‘lively’ experience—-way more uncanny than the ‘usual’ gallery-type virtual cemeteries, which began to thrive during the recent decade. When such post-religious digital resurrections will become a norm, the ‘spirit’ behind the analogue photography will finally be released and forgotten. As far as the old spirit photography and AI-driven resurrection goes, it appears, that such arguments as ‘made possible by technologies’ and ’caused by technologies’ are locked in a causal loop (or rather a short circuit).

[1] Kittler, Friedrich A. Gramophone, Film, Typewriter (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1999): 10

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Recommended ‘Critical Digital Studies’: Book and Website Resource

From the editors of CTheory:


A guide to digital culture, written by theorists and artists, including:
Donna Haraway, N. Katherine Hayles, Eugene Thacker, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Stelarc, Steve Dixon, Sara Diamond, Mary Bryson, Lev Manovitch, Jordan Crandall, Christina McPhee, Stephen Pfohl, D. Fox Harrell, Alexander Gallaway, Anna Munster.

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