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Variations on Media Thinking by Siegfried Zielinski (review)

Variations on Media Thinking by Siegfried Zielinski (review) 590 Book Notes Siegfried Zielinski. Variations on Media Thinking. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2019. 426 pp. Siegfried Zielinski’s Variations on Media Thinking provides a historically capacious introduction to the work of one of today’s most important theo- rists of media and media archaeology. Perhaps best known in the English- speaking world for developing the concept of deep time of the media in a 2006 translated book of the same name, Variations on Media Thinking continues Zielinski’s lifelong project of theorizing media as “generators of surprise,” which, for him, is the “epistemic goal of a cultura experimentalis” (xvii). As a collection of eighteen essays—with the oldest written nearly forty-fi ve years ago—Zielinski’s book is an illuminating exercise in all kinds of experimenta- tion, understood here in the broadest possible scientifi c sense—intellectual, methodological, theoretical, and historical. Motivated by a “deep mistrust of history, or rather historiography” (37), Zielinski’s genealogical method for exploring technical artifacts fl oats seamlessly between the particular and the abstract, the artifactual and the theoretical. From a cultural critique of the NBC series Holocaust broadcast to West Germans in 1979, to an exploration of the “symbolic machines” of thirteenth-century Catalan philosopher Ramon Llull, and to a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke uni_neb

Variations on Media Thinking by Siegfried Zielinski (review)

symploke , Volume 28 (1) – Nov 24, 2020

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © symploke
ISSN
1534-0627

Abstract

590 Book Notes Siegfried Zielinski. Variations on Media Thinking. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2019. 426 pp. Siegfried Zielinski’s Variations on Media Thinking provides a historically capacious introduction to the work of one of today’s most important theo- rists of media and media archaeology. Perhaps best known in the English- speaking world for developing the concept of deep time of the media in a 2006 translated book of the same name, Variations on Media Thinking continues Zielinski’s lifelong project of theorizing media as “generators of surprise,” which, for him, is the “epistemic goal of a cultura experimentalis” (xvii). As a collection of eighteen essays—with the oldest written nearly forty-fi ve years ago—Zielinski’s book is an illuminating exercise in all kinds of experimenta- tion, understood here in the broadest possible scientifi c sense—intellectual, methodological, theoretical, and historical. Motivated by a “deep mistrust of history, or rather historiography” (37), Zielinski’s genealogical method for exploring technical artifacts fl oats seamlessly between the particular and the abstract, the artifactual and the theoretical. From a cultural critique of the NBC series Holocaust broadcast to West Germans in 1979, to an exploration of the “symbolic machines” of thirteenth-century Catalan philosopher Ramon Llull, and to a

Journal

symplokeuni_neb

Published: Nov 24, 2020

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