SFB-Forschungsforum – Axel Volmar: Finding stories for the history of visual communications. Online talk and discussion of work-in-progress
Videochats and video conferencing tools have recently faced, not least due to corona-inflicted measures of social distancing, a massive boom in both personal and professional life. Videochats seem to enable ad-hoc remote-work and distance-teaching solutions as well as online leisure activities from yoga courses, choir practice, and drinks with friends. However, visual communications technologies, as the tools are more generally referred to, as well as the stories of their historical development, form a strangely understudied topic in media studies. Committed to closing this gap, Axel will present an outline for a monograph on the history of videotelephony and its impact for the formation of remote publics and video-supported forms of cooperation. Taking Thomas Haigh’s working paper, „Finding a Story for the History of Computing“ (CRC Working Paper Series, No. 3, July 2018) as a model, the outline will serve as a basis for exploring and discussing possible angles or “stories” that could make the history of visual communications and cooperation an interesting read, theoretically relevant and instructive for understanding our present situation.