[iDC] Alan's questions about media theory/ies

Tony Conrad conrad at buffalo.edu
Wed Jul 22 16:24:50 UTC 2009


1. The definitive “epiphylogenetic process” is obviously “culture” (in the
broader sense), which is after all the primary “repository of memory which is
preserved well beyond the lifespans of those who first construct [it];” again,
the definitive requisite for “culture” in this regard is our capacity for
language. The discrimination of tools as “inorganic” culture is clearly
secondary; it is the (language based) instruction set that permits tools to
become one aspect of the epiphylogenetic process.

2. The problematic term, “mediation,” apparently splatter-paints uncontrollably
in every discursive direction. For a perspective on the structural underpinnings
of “communication” that is completely extrinsic to the present discussion (and to
ontological foundations and Heidegger as well), I recommend looking at Nicolas
Luhmann’s systems theoretical approach, which radically limits this splatter by
hypostatizing the underlying issues to a thoroughly different level of discourse.
Though Luhmann’s construction is of course no terminal solution, it casts a
thoroughly different conceptual glare across this whole domain of inquiry.


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