A01 - Digital Network Technologies between Specialization and Generalization
Valérie Schafer (mit TP A02)
Based on historical case studies focused on media and data practices, the project reconstructs the co-operative creation of networked media since 1989. From a media-historical perspective, it aims to provide a contribution to the European and transatlantic history of the Internet and the World Wide Web. From a media-theoretical perspective, the project aims to develop and specify a concept of digitality that takes into account its cooperative emergence, its infrastructural maintenance, universalization, and its specific publics.
We thereby focus on the constitutive role of a) interchangeability of representations and the growth of digital systems, b) cooperative production of interoperability and modularity, and c) elementary practices of reading, writing and algorithmic control. The three work packages of the project explore 1. the constitution of the World Wide Web via its situated work constitution (Gießmann, Schüttpelz, Taha, Volmar), 2. the development of intranets using the example of German corporate networks (Taha) and 3. the emergence and spread of IP-based real-time communication via instant messaging (Volmar).
We assume that the establishment of the Internet and especially the World Wide Web as a public general-purpose infrastructure has lead to a remediation of cooperative practices of local working contexts. The project therefore therefore reconstructs the emergence and proliferation of web applications as a software- and data-oriented infrastructural history of cooperative media. We focus on the mutual production of cooperative conditions from collective, locally limited as well as translocally distributed work contexts and the corresponding situated data practices and arrangements (such as format usage, user administration, file sharing, collaborative processing of files, programming, error correction, patenting, standardization, etc.).
We are particularly interested in the interactions between work practices and the specific requirements for cooperation they produce, and in the materializations and affordances of digital micro-practices, through which cooperative conditions are ultimately realized in the form of digitally networked applications. We analyze these dynamics before the background of a longue durée of bureaucratic and administrative processes. These form the underlying socio-technical conditions that determine the materiality of cooperative computing, networking and data processing.
From TIFF files to TED talks, from book sizes to blues stations—the term “format” circulates in a staggering array of contexts and applies to entirely dissimilar objects and practices. How can such a pliable notion meaningfully function as an instrument of classification in so many industries and scientific communities? Comprising a wide range of case studies on the standards, practices, and politics of formats from scholars of photography, film, radio, television, and the Internet, Format Matters charts the many ways in which formats shape and are shaped by past and present media cultures. This volume represents the first sustained collaborative effort to advance the emerging field of format studies.
Jancovic, Marek, Axel Volmar und Alexandra Schneider, Hrsg. 2019. Format Matters. Standards, Practices and Politics in Media Cultures. Lüneburg: meson press.
Das Soziale ist immer schon medial und das Mediale immer schon sozial. „Materialität der Kooperation“ fragt nach materiellen Bedingungen und Medienpraktiken der Kooperation. Kooperation wird dabei als wechselseitiges Zusammenwirken verstanden, das mit oder ohne Konsens, mit oder ohne Kopräsenz der beteiligten Akteure von statten gehen kann.
Gießmann, Sebastian, Tobias Röhl und Ronja Trischler, Hrsg. 2019. Materialität der Kooperation. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
We humans spend most of our waking lives working. Our work includes cultural, intellectual, managerial and emotional labour as well as physical toil. And yet, most research carried out by humanities and media scholars implicitly treats the study of work as marginal, uninteresting or as a “mere” sociological topic. Even the study of “digital practices” rarely engages with the specifics of the workplace, despite the importance of distributed micro-practices such as clickworking, filesharing and collaborative editing. Information technology continues to underpin this transformation of work today, as it has in the past. For this reason, the video contributions to the interdisciplinary conference “Computing is Work!” (Siegen, Germany, 6–8 July 2017) focus on computing as work practice, both on a local or situated and an infrastructural level.
At the intersection of Science and Technology Studies and Media Studies the volume asks for the continuing actuality and productivity of Susan Leigh Stars (1954-2010) works on boundary objects, marginality, work, infrastructures and communities of practice. For the first time the seminal works by Star are published in German and are made available in Open Access.
Star, Susan Leigh. 2017. Grenzobjekte und Medienforschung. Edited by Sebastian Gießmann und Nadine Taha. Bd. 10. Locating Media | Situierte Medien. Bielefeld: transcript.