Materializing memories : dispositifs, generations, amateurs

Additional Author(s)
  • Wachelder, Joseph
  • Fickers, Andreas
  • Aasman, Susan
New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018
. Bibliography: p. 237-260. Index: p. 261-277
A multitude of devices and technological tools now exist to make, share, and store memories and moments with family, friends, and even strangers. Memory practices such as home movies, which originated as the privilege of a few, well-to-do families, have now emerged as ubiquitous and immediate cultures of sharing. Departing from the history of home movies, this volume offers a sophisticated understanding of technologically mediated, mostly ritualized memory practices, from early beginnings in the fin-de-siècle to today.

Departing from a longue durée perspective on home movie practices, Materializing Memories moves beyond a strict historical study to grapple with highly theorized fields, such as media studies, memory studies, and science and technology studies (STS). The contributors to this volume reflect on these different intellectual backgrounds and perspectives, but all chapters share a common framework by addressing practices of use, user configurations, and relevant media landscapes. Grasping the cultural dynamics of such multi-faceted practices requires a multidimensional conceptual approach, here achieved by centering around three concepts as central analytical lenses: dispositifs, generations, and amateurs.
Physical Dimension
Number of Page(s)
viii, 277 p.
23 cm.
Other Desc.
Summary / Review / Table of Content
Cover page; Halftitle page;
Title page; Copyright page;
Conceptual framework;
Situating the volume;
Three lenses, one focus;
Exploring and exploiting dispositifs, generations, and amateurs; Films; Notes;
PART ONE Dispositifs;
1 Amateur Technologies of Memory, Dispositifs, and Communication Spaces; The traditional family and the home movie; The new family, television, and home videos; New family developments and the transition to digital and smart devices; The permanency of still photography;
Notes 2 Hybrid Histories: Historicizing the Home Movie DispositifIntroduction; Historicizing the home movie dispositif; Periods of transition; Hybridity and its heuristic potential; Transitions in home movie dispositifs: from film to video; Hybrid practices, technologies, and discourses; Conclusions; Primary sources;
Notes; 3 The Emergence of Early Artists' Video in Europe and the USA and its Relationship to Broadcast TV;
Notes; 4 Materiality, Practices, Problematizations: What Kind of Dispositif Are Media?1; Environment/Ecology; Assemblages Dispositif 1: the cinema as cave-positioning the spectatorDispositif 2: Media as panopticons-uneven distribution of visibility; Misunderstanding the dispositif; Dispositif 3: the problematization of media and the power of transformation; Conclusion;
Notes; 5 How to Grasp Historical Media Dispositifs in Practice; In search of the past user; Media archaeology as discourse analysis; Re-enactment: grasping the materiality and sensuousness of historical objects; "Thinkering": experimenting as style of thinking and education; Hands- on: for a "de-auratization" of historical media objects From archive to laboratory: reflections on experimenting in home modeConclusion: re-enactment as authenticmemory practice;
Notes; PART TWO Generations; 6 Belated Screenings of Home Movies: Biographical Storytelling and Generational Referencing; Employing conversation analysis for cultural memory studies; Sources; Multilevel temporal situating and referencing; Conclusion: multilevel referencing and generations; Primary sources (based on House of Alijn Museum documentation);
Note; 7 The Social Construction of Generations in a Media Society: The Case of Postwar West Germany; Introduction The social construction of generations and the role of mediaConstructing a youth in crisis: "lectures to the young generation" in Postwar West Germany; Generational conflict/generational communication on screen: Günter Gaus and Rudi Dutschke, 1967;
Conclusion; 8 "Generation Channel 36": Pirated VHS Tapes and Remembering the Polish People's Republic in the Age of P2P Networks; A universal history of video?; Local video studies in semi-periphery; Between high technology and pirate modernization;
Conclusion; 9 Becoming YouTube's Grandad: Media, Age, and Generation in a Virtual Community
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