On the Expressions of "Media" and "New Media"
Translated by Richard Lambert.
People do not say the word "medium" to describe something they do with one another directly. For more meaningful matters like physical contact, feelings, and exchanging words with one another, we do not use the words "information", and "communication," but rather words like "working," "telephoning," "studying," "telling," "reporting," "announcing," "doubting," "loving," "hating," "confirming," and so on. The coined words "communication" and "information" already contain a certain abstraction, as if an exchange were taking place among people that was initiated by a concrete situation. In truth, the appearance of "intermediaries" (= media) like the radio and television does not provide any "distance from the situation." They can only operate vis-a-vis the spectator as through they were exchanging with one another, when in fact they merely act out monologues. The recipient receives all these messages and feelings within a concrete situation. [excerpt]
Kluge, Alexander. “On the Expressions of ‘Media’ and ‘New Media’: A Selection of Key Words”. Translated by Richard Lambert. In Difference and Orientation: An Alexander Kluge Reader, edited by Richard Langston, 249-292. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2019.
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