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Re: <nettime> Friedrich Kittler
Geert Lovink on Sun, 30 Oct 2011 17:37:37 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Friedrich Kittler

On 29 Oct 2011, at 7:56 PM, Florian Cramer wrote:

I find it remarkable how contributors on this mailing list recall the
personality and intellectual style of Friedrich Kittler, but little is
being said about the insights and theory he left to the contemporary
media criticism/activism/arts field.

True, Florian. But one can always do that, later, in one month or a century from now.

For me Friedrich Kittler was (also) a human being, a special character, one which I had the priviledge to meet every now and then, in different occasions. You are right that agency is the big mystery, the big missing element in his work. It is funny how he (and ssoooo many other humanities scholars and media theorists) misjudged the role that Internet was going to play. We often debated this, also in public, and in the recent years he admitted that his previous judgements were wrong. For Kittler there was only the computer as a stand-alone device that mumbles along, caught in all it calculation: a very powerful and destructive autonomous (military) machine. The idea of agency within networks doesn't fit into this world view. Let alone Californian dotcom agendas of venture capitalists and all their conservative-liberatarian dreams. That was all fluff. We had to go back to the core. Later on in life Kittler himself was an intensive internet user but never revised his grand theories to this new computer reality. But at least he saw that he was wrong, and that was quite human, I thought.

I liked what Hubertus wrote:

Trauer um Prof. Dr. Friedrich Kittler
Mit der Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig trauere ich um den großen Denker, den Raucher und Weinkenner, den Poeten, Mathematiker, Musiker, um den Ingenieur und genialen Bricoleur Prof. Dr. Friedrich Kittler, Germanist, Romanist, Philosoph, Medienwissenschaftler bien avant la lettre, den bedeutenden Kulturwissenschaftler, gestorben mit 68 Jahren am 18. Oktober 2011.

Der Präsident Prof.Dr. Hubertus v. Amelunxen

 Ciao, Geert

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