Bats in the Belfry: On the Relationship of Cybernetics and German Media Theory

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Background When German media theory (GMT) took shape in the early 1980s it was influenced by cybernetic concepts; however, it eventually discovered the history of cybernetics as an object of research.

Analysis The article follows the assumption that GMT’s double reference to cybernetics must be characterized as the result of both a shared epistemology and a specific discursive constellation. After contrasting McCulloch’s concept of a synthetic physiological a priori and Kittler’s concept of a technological a priori it examines how GMT adopted concepts from cybernetics, and how its members eventually became fascinated by the history of cybernetics.

Conclusion and implications The article concludes that the double reference to cybernetics explains its special role in GMT, while raising problems for GMT’s current fascination with cybernetics.
ZeitschriftCanadian Journal of Communication
Seiten (von - bis)467 – 484
Anzahl der Seiten18
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 28.07.2017

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Canadian Journal of Communication Corporation.