By Lisa Gitelman
Choice notable educational identify, 2007.
In Always Already New, Lisa Gitelman explores the novelty of recent media whereas she asks what it skill to do media heritage. utilizing the examples of early recorded sound and electronic networks, Gitelman demanding situations readers to contemplate the ways in which media paintings because the simultaneous matters and tools of historic inquiry. featuring unique case reports of Edison's first phonographs and the Pentagon's first dispensed electronic community, the ARPANET, Gitelman issues suggestively towards similarities that underlie the cultural definition of files (phonographic and never) on the finish of the 19th century and the definition of files (digital and never) on the finish of the 20th. hence, Always Already New speaks to give issues in regards to the humanities up to to the emergent box of latest media experiences. documents and records are kernels of humanistic proposal, after all—part of and celebration to the cultural impulse to maintain and interpret. Gitelman's argument indicates creative contexts for "humanities computing" whereas additionally providing a brand new standpoint on such conventional humanities disciplines as literary history.
Making broad use of archival resources, Gitelman describes the ways that recorded sound and digitally networked textual content every one emerged as neighborhood anomalies that have been but deeply embedded in the reigning good judgment of public lifestyles and public reminiscence. in spite of everything Gitelman turns to the area vast net and asks how the background of the internet is already being informed, how the internet may additionally withstand heritage, and the way utilizing the internet will be generating the stipulations of its personal historicity.
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Extra info for Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture
In making their selections for recording and playback, exhibitors made incongruous associations between well-known lines from both Shakespeare and Mother Goose, between talented musicians and hacks like Edward Johnson, between animal and baby noises and the articulate sounds of speech. Audiences could draw and maintain their own distinctions, laugh at the appropriate moments, recognize impressions, and be in on the joke. They could participate together in the enactment of cultural hierarchy. Cultural hierarchy was enacted partly through carnivalesque gestures—body sounds or animal noises—the negative of bourgeois identity, newly contained, captured, by the mimetic device.
The comparative study of media must be exactingly contrastive. Yet there are obvious parallels to be drawn too, and I think—it may be clear by now—that the early history of recorded sound holds a particular resonance 17 18 Introduction for envisioning what can today be called the early history of digital media. Part of this resonance is superficial, but part of it involves the idea of history itself—what it means to experience a sense of history or historical fact, what it means to write the early history of anything, and what the histories of media specifically involve.
The company kept a “foil” account open on its books to enter these transactions. Pounds of tinfoil sheets en- New Media Publics tered into national circulation, arriving in the possession of exhibitors only to be publicly consumed: indented, divided, distributed, and collected into private hands, and then saved. This saving formed a totally new experience of savability as well as the preservative eﬀects of tinfoil. That is, tobacco and cheese were sometimes sold in tinfoil, but the commercial availability of foil for wrapping and saving leftovers would come much later.