Deep Time of the Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means

Siegfried Zielinski

The MIT Press, ISBN 0262240491
Stop barely deducting, let’s find new sources. This seem to be the healthy and rich spirit that inspires the Zielinski’s precious research, finally able to radically call into question the so hackneyed new media historiography. Instead of enjoying the usual well-known media archeology references, the German professor has contextualized a thorough research. He has been able to find obscure and inspiring references from the past to some of the most highly topical media culture issues. This ‘atlantis’ of ideas can be found in the interpreted visions of Della Porta, Kircher, Ritter, Chudy, Purkyne, Lombroso and Gastev, in a 1500 to 1900 lapse of time, digging up ante-litteram systems of sequencing, surveillance, cinema, telematics, cryptography and perception. The forays into the hermetics and alchemy reveal unexpected ambitions of media systems’ knowledge and description, that sometimes (by accident or by destiny) are hosted by the most visionary minds. This research establish a new re-conceptualization of media studies, that implies new paths in the historical roots of culture through a scrupulous research of uncommon sources. The final concept of a ‘proposal for a cartography of media anarcheology’ seem to be a little bit arbitrary, not considering the historical part, but it goes anyway one step further in the pursuit of mediation of information deep roots.