By Lisa Gitelman
Choice extraordinary educational identify, 2007.
In Always Already New, Lisa Gitelman explores the novelty of recent media whereas she asks what it capacity to do media background. utilizing the examples of early recorded sound and electronic networks, Gitelman demanding situations readers to consider the ways in which media paintings because the simultaneous topics and tools of ancient inquiry. providing unique case reports of Edison's first phonographs and the Pentagon's first disbursed electronic community, the ARPANET, Gitelman issues suggestively towards similarities that underlie the cultural definition of documents (phonographic and never) on the finish of the 19th century and the definition of files (digital and never) on the finish of the 20 th. for that reason, Always Already New speaks to provide issues in regards to the humanities up to to the emergent box of latest media stories. files and files are kernels of humanistic notion, after all—part of and get together to the cultural impulse to maintain and interpret. Gitelman's argument indicates creative contexts for "humanities computing" whereas additionally supplying a brand new point of view on such conventional humanities disciplines as literary history.
Making huge use of archival assets, Gitelman describes the ways that recorded sound and digitally networked textual content each one emerged as neighborhood anomalies that have been but deeply embedded in the reigning common sense of public existence and public reminiscence. in spite of everything Gitelman turns to the area extensive internet and asks how the heritage of the net is already being instructed, how the net may additionally withstand heritage, and the way utilizing the net may be generating the stipulations of its personal historicity.
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Additional resources for Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture
The inscriptions that Edison’s phonograph made were tangible, portable, and immutable: records. But unlike more familiar inscriptions, they were also illegible. No person could read recordings the way a person reads handwritten scrawls, printed pages, or musical notes, or even the way a person examines a photograph or drawing to glean its meaning. Only machines Media as Historical Subjects could “read” (that is, “play”) those delicately incised grooves. To top it oﬀ, Edison’s phonograph seemed to inscribe or “capture” sound indiscriminately, capaciously—anything from noise to music—without regard for the speaker or the source.
However apposite this dark picture may be, it is painted with a broad brush, the wide strokes of which threaten to blur away the very localism they purport to show in decline and at the same time exaggerate the ways in which today’s new media are distinctively new. 29 The new medium depended on a worldwide trade in materials—like German chemicals and Indian lac (the insect secretion required to make the shellac for records)— as well as recording artists, recording studios, and phonograph and gramophone dealers around the world.
8 The relative instability of nineteenth-century print may be glimpsed first in the sheer volume of print media, in what one observer remarked as “books in shoals [and] journals by the score” (Farmer, 1889, vii), but particularly in the profusion of cheaper monthly, weekly, and daily periodicals. 9 Yet quantity is far less suggestive than quality. S. “exchange” system (the subsidized postal swapping of issues across the country), newspapers and periodicals reprinted voraciously. Local papers culled each other’s pages, assembling a national press.
Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture by Lisa Gitelman