О преимуществах материалистического подхода в теории медиа
The present paper offers a survey of some contemporary media theories, undertaken from the standpoint of ‘technical a priori’. In most studies, their authors pay little attention to the conditions of mediality as such and, as a result, examine only one part of media capabilities (and by no means exhaust their potential ‘contents’), while in fact it may be worth analyzing such capabilities not only from the viewpoint of the user, but, in the words of Gilbert Simondon, from the side of ‘technical objects’ as well. While even in the recent years there have been scholars who still professed to continue the tradition originating in the work of Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan, this article seeks to demonstrate that what McLuhan understood as media, today would normally be called genres with their capacity of being variably projected onto any ‘platform’. Futility of the attempts to achieve further theoretical development of McLuhan’s theses is well illustrated by the theory of remediation of Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin. One can propose to consider the materialist theory of Vilém Flusser as an alternative. Certain trends in media archaeology (Erkki Huhtamo, Wolfgang Ernst), despite their advertised potential, display a distinct similarity with earlier theories and in fact never cease to regard media as an entity that exists. To demonstrate the advantages of a materialist approach, it will be appropriate to bring into focus Jussi Parikka’s geology of media and Siegfried Zielinski’s variantology, supplemented by the examples of interaction with ‘technical objects’ which implement additional contents.