Action at a Distance

Action at a Distance


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How are human actions shaped by the materiality of media? 

Contemporary media leads us more than ever to an ‘acting at a distance,’ an acting entangled with the materiality of communication and the mediality of transmission. This book explores this crucial phenomenon thereby introducing urgent questions of human interaction, the binding and breaking of time and space, and the entanglement of the material and the immaterial. 

Three vivid inquiries deal with histories and theories of mediality and materiality: John Durham Peters looks at episodes of simultaneity and synchronization. Christina Vagt discusses the agency of computer models against the backdrop of aesthetic theories by Henri Bergson and Hans Blumenberg, and Florian Sprenger discusses early electrical transmissions through copper wire and the temporality of instantaneity. 

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781517910099
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publication date: 06/23/2020
Series: In Search of Media
Pages: 95
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

John Durham Peters is Maria Rosa Menocal Professor of English and of Film and Media Studies at Yale University. 

Florian Sprenger is Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Goethe University Frankfurt.

Christina Vagt is Assistant Professor of European Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Table of Contents

Series Foreword vii

Introduction Florian Sprenger Christina Vagt ix

1 Temporalities of Instantaneity: Electric Wires and the Media of Immediacy Florian Sprenge Erik Born 1

2 A Cornucopia of Meanwhiles John Durham Peters 29

3 Physics and Aesthetics: Simulation as Action at a Distance Christina Vagt 51

Authors 78

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