Institut zur Erforschung und Förderung österreichischer und internationaler Literaturprozesse
Knowledge Networking in Cultural Studies
Reichenau, May, 24-27, 2001
 TRANS No. 10: 
"Knowledge Networking in Cultural Studies" 
(since June 2001)

The Secret Message of the Medium
The hermeneutic tradition and the present media situation
Gabriella Hima (Debrecen)

The materialism of informatic theory assigns to literature merely technical functions. The author is no longer the producer of a meaning but a strictly operational acting subject who chooses, saves transmits etc. the signs. The signs beyond any signification have a semantic-free, purely physical aspect. The materiality of the sign and the operationality of its mediation subvert the communication because of the effects not intended by the author. This results in two kinds of statements: an intended and a non-intended one. The latter, the autonomous message of the medium, lies ootside the human area. McLuhan‘s utopia about Understanding Media presupposes a hermeneutic and anthropomorphic approach in relation to the media. The actual subject-hostile discourse on the theory of media rejects this idea: The media as the technical apriori of any understanding cannot be understood. Thus the hermeneutic tradition is unable to come to terms with the present media-situation. In my paper I will try to discuss such questions as: is a rehumanization of the (technical) media possible; what could be the effects of the non-predictable and non-controllable meaning-potential on the claim of scientific truth and on the human knowledge?

Papers held at the conference "Knowledge Networking in Cultural Studies" are published in
TRANS. Internet journal for Cultural Studies, No. 10/2001

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