Creative Cultural Research – Week 1

Posted: February 18, 2015 in Mediated Lives

How refreshing to begin to experience media and culture in a new light. This first week, I have been researching the concept of media genealogies/media archaeology. Gone is the idea of a linear progression through history, replaced by an entanglement of technological development , experimentation and coincidences that have given us the technological advances we enjoy today. Looking at my iphone sitting on my desk, I began to realise the importance of certain theories, observations, needs and discoveries that all had to occur at key moments in history for me to have this amazing piece of technological equipment in front of me.  ‘It is, as Taylor and West so aptly put it, “material evidence within a web of relationships”.(1)

How many theories of mobile communication were rejected and how many prototypes were abandoned before the path to mobile technology took the path it did? If Heinrich Hertz hadn’t demonstrated his apparatus for the generation and reception of electromagnetic waves in 1888, then Sir William Crookes might not have suggested that this new effect could be used to communicate – and which now forms the basis for most communication worldwide. New media could be forgiven for being rather smug with itself at times, but its reliance on what has, and has not preceded it, cannot be ignored.

References:

Newlands C (2004) A Historical archaeology of mobile phones in the UK

http://www.academia.edu/468072/

Tarlow S & West S (1999) The Familiar Past? Archaeologies of later historical Britain.

Routledge, London and New York

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