symbolic communities of shared interests and values of which these
actors hence become co-creators (Harvard and Lundell 2010:16).
In the ensuing pages, these ideas will be tested on the contemporary
media system, first of all with regard to how gossip, rumour, scandals,
and news distribution can take place, something that raises further
questions. Through which media, in a broad sense, are scandals
created, and how do these media interact?
Digital town squares
Press historian Mitchell Stephens argues that digitaltechnology
has entailed a kind of return to an older form
of rust.’17 The interplay of mechanical and digitaltechnologies, which
would become a major feature of the performance, was already apparent during the assembly period. As the audience gathered, Stéphane
Bonnard stood before a stand microphone on a platform in front of the
hydroelectric plant. He held his script (loose, creased printouts) and a
battery-powered clip light by which to read. It was night; apart from
the reading lamp and the red work lights of the technicians positioned
behind the audience, the only light came from a projection on the wall
disincentives also exacerbated problems within the hospital sector, resulting in unequal adoption of digitaltechnologies across the health service and generating a considerable legacy for later decades. 39 Such problems, though, did not prove harmful to the drive for diabetes surveillance. The major professional groups in favour of computerisation and recall systems (senior diabetologists and GPs, service planners and managers) remained steadfast in their faith, and systems were far easier to organise at a local – as opposed to regional or national – level. Advocates did
all manner of embellishments are achieved in an instant on a computer. However, in many ways, the desired objective is the same, namely, to idealise a perceived inherent essence of the human subject that mere mimesis cannot achieve. Traditionally in China, as one young studio photographer explains, photography was known as ‘the art of regret’, for however much one tried, one never quite managed to capture the inner essence of the subject. Now, however, with the aid of digitaltechnology, that regret could at least sometimes be assuaged, after the fact, with the aid
association with the unquestionable authority of experts, or even with narrow efficiency as a goal. The diffusion of digitaltechnologies has encouraged the development of diverse cultures of experimentation, dabbling, reconfiguring, sabotage and so on. To the extent that the Internet, for instance, is a place where everyone periodically plays with technology, and mobile phones have become toys that people trust and incorporate into every aspect of their lives, what Feenberg calls the technical illusion has already evaporated.
Much of this activity would have been
Horkheimer, ‘With the progress of Enlightenment, only authentic works of art were able to avoid the mere imitation of that which already is’ ( 1997 : 18) – that is, to escape the logic of equivalence and exchange.
14 Feenberg refers to ‘an earlier consensus’ that ‘brooked no interference with the decisions of technical experts’ and contrasts this with the ‘increasing weight of pubic actors in technological development’ ( 2002 : 24). The latter seems to occur with the rise of digitaltechnologies but is not limited to them in its effects.
15 ‘Substantive theory
coldly instrumental or spiritually empty, jars with the experience that most people have of contemporary, especially digital, technologies. In other words, it is no longer common sense. The relationship people have with their smartphones, activity trackers or other digital gadgets of everyday life does not match the description this seems to imply of them, as reified and authoritative.
2 Hermeneutics and the object
Post-phenomenology considers Feenberg ‘humanist’ because he only treats of technology as it is constructed or discursively mediated. Peter-Paul Verbeek
‘organ of philosophy’
and the rest of the world is still a vital task. As I have already suggested above, the rise of
digitaltechnology is another of these processes.
The conclusion of the PA suggests the power of the connections Schelling makes between
the diﬀerent languages of art: in an anticipation of Wagner’s theory of music-drama, he
reﬂects on the ‘most complete combination of all arts . . . which was the drama of antiquity’ and wonders if opera, which is at present merely a ‘caricature’ of ancient drama,
may become able to lead back to