SFB 1187 ›Medien der Kooperation‹ an der Universität Siegen

A01 - Digital Network Technologies between Specialization and Generalization

Principal Investigators:

Dr. Sebastian Gießmann

Prof. Dr. Erhard Schüttpelz


Dipl. Medienwirtin Nadine Taha

Dr. Axel Volmar

Comenius Visiting Professor:

Thomas Haigh

Mercator Fellow:

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.



Gießmann, S. (2020). How to Coordinate Digital Accounting? Infrastructuring Payment and Credit with the Eurocard, 1977-1985. In U. Bergermann, M. Dommann, E. Schüttpelz, & J. Stolow (Eds.), Connect and Divide. The Practice Turn in Media Studies. Berlin/Zürich: diaphanes.
Gießmann, S. (2020). Internetgeographie. In T. Thielmann (Ed.), Handbuch Mediengeographie. Stuttgart: Metzler.
Schüttpelz, E., Taha, N., Stolow, J., Dommann, M., & Bergermann, U. (Eds.). (2020). Connect and Divide: The Practice Turn in Media Studies. Zürich: diaphanes. Retrieved from https://www.diaphanes.net/titel/connect-and-divide-4688



Gießmann, S. (2019). Coordinations, or Computing is Work! Media in Action, 4(1), 107–122.
Gießmann, S. (2019). Net Neutrality: Anatomy of a Controversy. In M. Korn, W. Reißmann, T. Röhl, & D. Sittler (Eds.), Infrastructuring Publics (pp. 87–111). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
Gießmann, S. (2019). „Ein weiteres gemeinsames Medium zur Banken-Kooperation“. Der Fall der Eurocard. In S. Gießmann, T. Röhl, & R. Trischler (Eds.), Materialität der Kooperation (pp. 169–198). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
Gießmann, S. (2019). The Internet is an Internet. In M. C. Kettemann & S. Dreyer (Eds.), Busted! The Truth About the 50 Most Common Internet Myths (pp. 160–163). Hamburg: Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut.
Gießmann, S., & Röhl, T. (2019). Materialität der Kooperation zur Einleitung. In S. Gießmann, T. Röhl, & R. Trischler (Eds.), Materialität der Kooperation (pp. 3–32). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
Gießmann, S., Röhl, T., & Trischler, R. (Eds.). (2019). Materialität der Kooperation. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Retrieved from //www.springer.com/de/book/9783658208042
Haigh, T. (Ed.). (2019). Exploring the Early Digital. Wiesbaden: Springer. Retrieved from https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783030021511
Haigh, T. (2019). Introducing the Early Digital. In T. Haigh (Ed.), Exploring the Early Digital (pp. 1–18). Cham: Springer VS.
Haigh, T., & Priestley, M. (2019). The Media of Programming. In T. Haigh (Ed.), Exploring the Early Digital. Wiesbaden: Springer. Retrieved from https://www.springer.com/us/book/9783030021511
Jancovic, M., Schneider, A., & Volmar, A. (Eds.). (2019). Format Matters. Standards, Practices, and Politics in Media Cultures. Lüneburg: meson press.
Sittler, D., Korn, M., Reißmann, W., & Röhl, T. (Eds.). (2019). Publics of Infrastructures – Infrastructures of Publics. Wiesbaden: Springer. Retrieved from https://www.springer.com/de/book/9783658207243
Volmar, A. (2019). Productive Sounds: Touch-Tone Dialing, the Rise of the Call Center Industry and the Politics of Virtual Voice Assistants. In A. Sudmann (Ed.), The Democratization of Artificial Intelligence. Net Politics in the Era of Learning Algorithms (pp. 55–75). Bielefeld: transcript.
Volmar, A. (2019). Toward a Theoretical Framework for Format Studies. In M. Jancovic, A. Volmar, & A. Schneider (Eds.), Format Matters. Standards, Practices and Politics in Media Cultures. Lüneburg: meson press.
Volmar, A., Jancovic, M., & Schneider, A. (2019). Format Matters. An Introduction to Format Studies. In M. Jancovic, A. Volmar, & A. Schneider (Eds.), Format Matters. Standards, Practices and Politics in Media Cultures (pp. 7–22). Lüneburg: meson press.



Gießmann, S. (2018). Für eine Medienpraxistheorie der Delegation. Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften, (2), 133–148.
Gießmann, S. (2018). Money, Credit, and Digital Payment 1971/2014: From the Credit Card to Apple Pay. Administration & Society, 50(9), 1259–1279. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095399718794169
Gießmann, S. (2018). Vernetzen. In Historisches Wörterbuch des Mediengebrauchs (Vol. 2, pp. 490–508). Köln; Weimar; Wien: Böhlau.
Gießmann, S. (2018). Elemente einer Praxistheorie der Medien. Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft, 19, 95–109.
Gießmann, S. (2018). Im Dschungel der Auftragsforschung. Yasha Levine folgt dem Leitfaden militärischer Ziele in der Geschichte des Internets. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, (220), 12.
Haigh, T. (2018). Defining American Greatness: IBM from Watson to Trump. Communications of the ACM, 61(1), 32–37. https://doi.org/10.1145/3163909
Haigh, T. (2018). Finding a Story for the History of Computing. Working Paper Series Media of Cooperation, 3, 1–12. Retrieved from https://www001.zimt.uni-siegen.de/ojs/index.php/wps1187/article/view/20/21
Haigh, T. (2018). Thomas Harold “Tommy” Flowers: Creator of Colossus. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 40(1), 72–82. https://doi.org/10.1109/MAHC.2018.012171270
Haigh, T., & Paju, P. (2018). IBM’s Tiny Peripheral: Finland and the Tensions of Transnationality. Business History Review, 92(1), 3–28. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007680518000028
Haigh, T., & Priestley, M. (2018). Colossus and Programmability. IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 40(4), 5–27. https://doi.org/10.1109/MAHC.2018.2877912
Haigh, T., Haigh, M., & Kozak, N. (2018). Stopping Fake News: The Work Practices of Peer-to-Peer Counter Propaganda. Journalism Studies, 19(14), 2062–2087. Retrieved from http://www.tomandmaria.com/Tom/Writing/StopFakePreprint.pdf
Sittler, D. (2018). Straßenverkehr und soziale Sichtbarkeit. Das Massenmedium Straße in Chicago 1900-1930 (Vol. Band 1). Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag. Retrieved from https://www.nomos-shop.de/Sittler-Stra%C3%9Fenverkehr-soziale-Sichtbarkeit/productview.aspx?product=37337
Taha, N. (2018). Die Wolkenphotographie in der Wettermanipulation. Zu Räumen militärisch-industrieller Unsicherheit. In L. Nowak (Ed.), Medien - Krieg - Raum (pp. 327–356). Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink Verlag. Retrieved from https://www.fink.de/katalog/titel/978-3-7705-5872-8.html
Volmar, A. (2018). Experiencing High Fidelity. Sound Reproduction and the Politics of Music Listening in the Twentieth Century. In C. Thorau & H. Ziemer (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Music Listening in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Volmar, A., & Schrey, D. (2018). Compact Disc. In D. Morat & H. Ziemer (Eds.), Handbuch Sound (pp. 324–328). Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-476-05421-0?page=1#toc
Volmar, A., Schwesinger, S., & Gerloff, F. (2018). Medienwissenschaft. In D. Morat & H. Ziemer (Eds.), Handbuch Sound (pp. 126–133). Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-476-05421-0?page=1#toc



Gießmann, S. (2017). Von der Verteilten Künstlichen Intelligenz zur Diagrammatik der Grenzobjekte. In Nadine Taha & Sebastian Gießmann (Eds.), Grenzobjekte und Medienforschung (pp. 151–167). Bielefeld: transcript.
Gießmann, S. (2017). Klassifizieren und Improvisieren. Ein Kommentar zu Geoffrey Bowker und Susan Leigh Star. ilinx, Berliner Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft. Workarounds: Praktiken des Umwegs, 4, 205–211. Retrieved from https://edoc.hu-berlin.de/bitstream/handle/18452/19376/18-Giessmann.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Gießmann, S. (2017). Ein amerikanischer Standard. Kreditkarten als soziale Medien. Archiv für Mediengeschichte. Medien der Finanz, 143–156.
Gießmann, S. (2017). Drawing the Social: Jacob Levy Moreno, Sociometry and the Rise of Network Diagrammatics. Working Paper Series Media of Cooperation, 2. Retrieved from https://www001.zimt.uni-siegen.de/ojs/index.php/wps1187/article/view/16/19
Gießmann, S., & Taha, N. (2017). »Study the unstudied«. Zur medienwissenschaftlichen Aktualität von Susan Leigh Stars Denken. In Sebastian Gießmann & Nadine Taha (Eds.), Grenzobjekte und Medienforschung (pp. 13–77). Bielefeld: transcript. Retrieved from https://www.transcript-verlag.de/media/pdf/04/26/71/oa9783839431269.pdf
Haigh, T. (2017). The History of UNIX in the History of Software. Cahiers D’Histoire Du CNAM, 78, 77–90. Retrieved from http://technique-societe.cnam.fr/medias/fichier/chc-7-8-2017-2-web_1523369142011-pdf
Haigh, T. (2017). Tim Berners-Lee - ACM Turing Award Winner. Retrieved from https://amturing.acm.org/award_winners/berners-lee_8087960.cfm
Schüttpelz, E. (2017). Medienrevolutionen und andere Revolutionen. Zeitschrift Für Medienwissenschaft, 17(2/17), 147–161. Retrieved from https://www.zfmedienwissenschaft.de/heft/archiv/17-22017-%E2%80%93-psychische-apparate
Schüttpelz, E. (2017). Infrastructural Media and Public Media. Media in Action, 1(1), 13–61. Retrieved from https://www001.zimt.uni-siegen.de/ojs/index.php/mia/article/view/12/16
Schüttpelz, E. (2017). Die Struktur der Grenzobjekte. In Nadine Taha & Sebastian Gießmann (Eds.), Susan Leigh Star: Grenzobjekte und Medienforschung (pp. 229–239). Bielefeld: transcript. Retrieved from https://www.transcript-verlag.de/media/pdf/04/26/71/oa9783839431269.pdf
Star, S. L. (2017). Grenzobjekte und Medienforschung. (S. Gießmann & N. Taha, Eds.) (Vol. 10). Bielefeld: transcript. Retrieved from https://www.transcript-verlag.de/media/pdf/04/26/71/oa9783839431269.pdf
Taha, N. (2017). »Another Person’s Poison«. Zur Konzeptualisierung von Nahrungsmittelallergien und Grenzerfahrungen bei Susan Leigh Star. In Nadine Taha & Sebastian Gießmann (Eds.), Susan Leigh Star: Grenzobjekte und Medienforschung (pp. 273–287). Bielefeld: transcript. Retrieved from https://www.transcript-verlag.de/media/pdf/04/26/71/oa9783839431269.pdf
Volmar, A. (2017). Formats as Media of Cooperation. Media In Action, (2), 9–28. Retrieved from https://www001.zimt.uni-siegen.de/ojs/index.php/mia/
Volmar, A. (2017). Psychoakustik und Signalanalyse. Zur Ökologisierung und Metaphorisierung des Hörens seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg. In Netzwerk Hör-Wissen im Wandel (Ed.), Wissensgeschichte des Hörens in der Moderne (pp. 65–95). Berlin: de Gruyter. Retrieved from https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/480802
Volmar, A. (2017). Infrastrukturforschung zwischen Kulturtechnikgeschichte und Critical Infrastructure Studies [Rezension]. Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft, 16, 198–204. Retrieved from https://www.zfmedienwissenschaft.de/heft/archiv/16-12017-%E2%80%93-celebrity-cultures
Volmar, A., & Häsler, L. (2017). Tonträger und Musikmedien. Zur Rhetorik technischer Schallproduktion vom Phonographen zum MP3-Spieler. In A. Scheuermann & F. Vidal (Eds.), Handbuch Medienrhetorik (Vol. 6, pp. 441–461). Berlin: de Gruyter. Retrieved from https://edoc.unibas.ch/53747/



Gießmann, S. (2016). Die Verbundenheit der Dinge. Eine Kulturgeschichte der Netze und Netzwerke (2nd ed., Vol. 114). Berlin: Kadmos.
Gießmann, S. (2016). Cyberspace, Cluetrain, Digitalcharta: Die Botschaft der Internet-Programmschriften. irights.info – Urheberrecht und kreatives Schaffen in der digitalen Welt. Retrieved from https://irights.info/artikel/cyberspace-cluetrain-digitalcharta-die-botschaft-der-internet-programmschriften/28313
Gießmann, S. (2016). Registrieren, Identifizieren, Zuweisen. Produktion und Technizität des Rechts bei Latour. In Wissen, wie Recht ist. Bruno Latours Ethnographie einer Existenzweise (pp. 93–113). Konstanz: Konstanz University Press.
Haigh, T. (2016). How Charles Bachman Invented the DBMS [Data Base Management System], a Foundation of Our Digital World. Communications of the ACM, 59(7), 25–30. Retrieved from https://cacm.acm.org/magazines/2016/7/204036-how-charles-bachman-invented-the-dbms-a-foundation-of-our-digital-world/abstract
Haigh, T., & Paju, P. (2016). IBM Rebuilds Europe: The Curious Case of the Transnational Typewriter. Enterprise & Society, 17(2), 265–300. https://doi.org/10.1017/eso.2015.64
Haigh, T., Stearns, D., & Bátiz-Lazo, B. (2016). Origins of the Modern Concept of Cashless Society, 1950s-1970s. In B. Bátiz-Lazo & L. Efthymiou (Eds.), The Book of Payments: Historical and Contemporary Views on the Cashless Society (pp. 95–106). Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from https://www.palgrave.com/de/book/9781137602305
Volmar, A., & Schröter, J. (2016). HiFi hören. HiFi-Praxis für kritische Käufer und Fachhändler. Eine Fallstudie zum Problem der Analyse historischer Medienpraktiken. In B. Ochsner & R. Stock (Eds.), senseAbility. Mediale Praktiken des Sehens und Hörens. (pp. 149–168). Bielefeld: transcript. Retrieved from https://www.transcript-verlag.de/chunk_detail_seite.php?doi=10.14361%2F9783839430644-007