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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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Optical Media

His conclusions leap like lightning. There are enough special courses in cultural studies that provide film and television histories focused directly on the feature film, which could then also be supplemented by courses in media production.

Why was his image so unusually small approximately 27 centimeters square? On a tall easel beside the ladder stood the drawing of an altar.

The reason why the missionaries belonged to the Jesuit Order of all people is still being considered today. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Just what kind of media studies is this? It can also be found in the illustration of a lanterna magica: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here They thus always projected the effects of their linear perspectives or camera obscuras only onto plane surfaces.

He was a classical case of polyhistory, as it was called in the seventeenth century. As an electronic medium, television is to us that is, to consumers only the outward face of an empire that is already now beginning to strike back.

No eBook available Polity Amazon. Technical media and only technical media – according to the thesis of these lectures – destroyed this postulate of visibility. In this genre, cognitive virtue was tied to a public demonstration of methods that anyone could repeat and an expository style that anyone could understand. A better explanation is already implied by the fact that in the very beginning, experiments with the camera obscura could only be conducted in darkened yet otherwise normal-sized chambers or rooms, but they soon changed to become small, transportable boxes.

They follow the logic of escalation that leaves us and written history behind it. But if all you see are the mistakes and exaggerations, you risk missing something big if you are interested in understanding media as architectonically important to our life and times. He discusses the competitive relationship between photography and painting as well as between film and theater, as innovations like the Baroque proscenium or “picture-frame” stage evolved from elements that would later constitute cinema.

And for what he had to show of the sky, that is, where the walls in the painting stand out against the open air, he used burnished silver so that the actual air and sky would be reflected in it and the clouds also, which were thus seen moving on the silver when the wind blew. China was the most technologically advanced country in the world during the Middle Ages, but it remained trapped in a state that made it very easy for the English and other European powers to defeat China in one war after another from onwards.


Kittler also discusses the development of various mechanical kitrler, like 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 Counterreformation. The range of possibilities is quite diverse: Being, in an eminent sense, allows itself in principle not to frifdrich seen today, although or because it allows the visible first to be seen.

What is interesting is that the lack of Mwdia language in Anglo-American circles has produced a situation where most scholars are reliant on translations I am glad to see Polity Press putting out Kittler-related literature. In the case of digital media, like electronic image-processing, this transformation requires a digital-to-analog converter to allow for human sensory organs.

His works relate to mediatechnologyand the military.

Martin Heidegger certainly has crossed over into English, but here again it is important to get things right. What Loyola had invented or enforced in his lonely cell had to become simplified, trivialized, mechanized, and mass applied.

Selected pages Title Page. kitrler

Other editions – View all Optical media: His lectures were blessedly free of PowerPoint, a bacillus that has now all but entirely colonized the habitat. When Gutenberg and later Luther appeared to triumph over the worship of images with their printed books, the traveling players discovered the handbill as a medium for reproducing their street ballads and illustrating them with wood engravings.

For this lecture especially, we are confronted with the problem of acoustic media; although they are not included in the title, they are increasingly networked with optical media.

Small images were placed on the turntable, and enlargements could be seen through a lens system.

Optical Media | Social & Cultural History | General & Introductory History | Subjects | Wiley

Kittler is in between philosophy, the history of music, computer science, and media theory. Because these elements can only assume certain values – there are, for example, far fewer Latin letters than the number of possible sounds produced by the larynx and mouth – they cannot match all of the variations, intricacies, and details of the message.

Apparently, the Holy ,edia decided at that time to avoid any scholarly scandals in the future, like Galileo or Giordano Bruno; in any case, Kircher rose to become a kind of scientific fire brigade for the Pope: The theoretical solution of this problem appeared in in the form of a book with the very distinctive title, De perspectiva pictorum atque architectorum, about the perspective of painters and architects.


How coding, channeling and decoding takes places in material fridrich that are surrounded by noise. Media are data- processors: McLuhan, whose work was based on the fundamental historical groundwork laid by Harold Adams Innis.

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

Of course, it is crucial to take Kittler, like everyone else, with a pinch of salt.

This overview has hopefully already shown that the connection of old traditional arts like literature, painting, and theater, on the one hand, with technical media on the other hand should not be mere addition. 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.

I will only point out here that it goes without saying that women were once more the subjects of such experiments, but since this is a media history and not a love story, I prefer to steer clear of my suspicions concerning the purpose of the whole episode.

The name for this problem area, which has yet to be negotiated in detail, is standards or norms. In 50 years, each of them will be known as people who had been very sensitive to changes of the media. In other words, combinational systems and processes of visual perception cannot access the real, but – and this is one of the leitmotifs of these lectures – this is precisely why it can only be stored and processed by technical media.

Optical Media : Friedrich A. Kittler :

This also allows us to grasp the history of optical media more precisely: 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.

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I will later return to this combination of painting and architecture, like the baroque trompe Poeil.