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Saved from Oblivion: Documenting the Daily from Diaries to Web Cams

Author: Andreas Kitzmann
Publisher: New York: Peter Lang, 2004
Review Published: March 2007

 REVIEW 1: Timothy D. Ray
 AUTHOR RESPONSE: Andreas Kitzmann

Firstly, thanks to David Silver and the RCCS for selecting my book and to Timothy Ray for his insightful and articulate review. Yes, the book could have been longer and there are indeed concepts that could be have been developed further, such as those of "third time" and the "dirty aura." The book was also written before blogs, Facebook, Youtube, etc. were part of the mainstream to the extent to which they are now. This is always a problem with the general topic of digital media. It changes so quickly that is difficult to remain topical and up to date. To an extent I was also (deliberately) constrained by my method of organization and the loose narrative that began and ended the book. Also, I prefer "shorter books" in the sense that they allow an author -- at least in my case -- to explore topics in a less monumental form. In this instance, I envisioned this book as one installment of a type of informal series that will allow me to explore and develop a set of ideas within a longer time frame (and to also benefit from responses from readers/reviewers).

In terms of future work, the general notion of materiality and the physiological and phenomenological impact of technology (as explored by Hayles and Hansen) continue to interest me. To that end, I am embarking on a new project that explores the area of design and architecture as forms of media and as expressions (as opposed to just an application) of technology. As such, this project will probe the manner in which design/architecture, as technological practice, affect the evolutionary trajectories of material and embodied existence. Furthermore, I'm interested in questioning the extent to which designed objects and places alter the very basis of our sensory experience and thus possibly affect what it means to live as embodied human beings. The world of design offers a fertile ground for further exploring such ideas given the fact that designers and architects often base their work within some kind of theoretical paradigm that addresses the relationships between materiality, sensory experience and cultural practice. Designers often articulate, if only implicitly, a desire to "change the world," by creating objects or spaces that alter, improve or otherwise transform the material/human relationship.

Andreas Kitzmann


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