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Terms of Media

Publicatiedatum: 01 januari 2016

“Media determine our situation”, Friedrich Kittler infamously wrote in his introduction to Gramophone, Film, Typewriter.

Although this dictum is certainly extreme – and media archaeology has been criticised  for being overly dramatic and focused on technological developments – it propels us to keep thinking about media as setting the terms for which we live, socialize, communicate, organize, do scholarship etc.

What, then, are the terms – the limits, the conditions, the periods, the relations, the phrases – of media? And, what is the relationship between these terms and determination? This project entailed two international conferences at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany and at Brown University, USA, and a series of publications based on these conferences, seeks to repose and update this fundamental question of media theory. Does our situation indicate a new term, understood as temporal shifts of mediatic conditioning, which deserves a re-description? How and on what terms are media changing, reflecting changes in media itself? What are the terms of conditions that we negotiate as subjects of media? How do the terms of media theory relate to such conditions? What are the terms of conditions of media theory itself?


Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany The Cogut Center for Humanities, Brown University, USA