Overview[ edit ] Stiegler argues that "technics" forms the horizon of human existence. This fact has been suppressed throughout the history of philosophy, which has never ceased to operate on the basis of a distinction between episteme and tekhne. The thesis of the book is that the genesis of technics corresponds not only to the genesis of what is called "human" but of temporality as such, and that this is the clue toward understanding the future of the dynamic process in which the human and the technical consists. The outcome of this reading is the thought that history cannot be thought according to the idea that humanity is the "subject" of this history and technology simply the object. When it comes to the relation between the human and the technical, the "who" and the "what" are in an undecidable relation. Part II is largely a reading of the work of Martin Heidegger in terms of the above consideration.
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Even though these images may be the earliest known examples of what we now call cave art, and thus we tend to think of Chauvet like Lascaux as an event or an historic date, we also know that these could not actually have been the first cave paintings ever produced. We know this for two reasons.
Firstly, because to produce such imagery required tools and instruments, materials, that required invention and development over a period of time to reach the point where they could be utilised as successfully as they are in Chauvet. And just as the development of the technical implements of artistry must have had a prior history, so too the theoretico-practical knowledge required to employ these tools aesthetically must have been acquired over a long duration.
In , the year the Chauvet Cave was discovered that is, re-discovered , that is, the year that the investment that these deposits represented was able to provide for human history a return that could never have been anticipated by the producers of these artworks, the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler published the first volume of his monumental Technics and Time series. In it he made a convincing case that human life is technical life, that is, that it is not the case that the human the who invented the technical the what but on the contrary that they are co-originary, that the human and the technical are two tendencies that compose together within a single process.
Thus it is that every technical object is a form of memory, an exteriorisation of the consciousness that fashioned it, capable of being re-examined by that consciousness, or examined by his or her descendants, both intergenerationally and archaeologically. In this sense, every technical object, every tool or artefact, is a mirror, or a screen. But I further imagine that Herzog will allude to the mysteriousness of these images, to their obscurity as much as their clarity, to the fact that we can barely imagine what animated these awfully old artists, or in other words that what these images make it possible for us to remember is that the desires or dreams of these artists are to a large extent irrevocably forgotten.
Although we have these mysteriously maintained images, we have no idea of the myths or rituals—that is, the forms of knowledge and ways of life—that may have been woven around them. And as such they are also signs pointing to the possibility of a perhaps terrifyingly distant future in which we can imagine ourselves being both remembered and forgotten. The third volume of the Technics and Time series opens with the following claim: The propensity to believe in stories and fables, the passion for fairy tales, just as satisfying in the old as in the very young, is perpetuated from generation to generation because it forges the link between the generations.
Insatiable, they hold out the promise, to generations to come, of the writing of new episodes of future life, yet to be invented, to be fictionalized. It will turn out that cinema is a very special case of a mnemo-technical instrument, and thus it is feasible to examine this work within a cinema studies context, but only if it is also made clear that the cinema, or even the age of cinema, can never truly be thought in isolation, either from what precedes it from Chauvet to Daguerre or from what conjoins to it television or from that system into which it is currently being inserted digital convergence.
The brief metastable moment that will have been the century of cinema is now perhaps passing, even if movies and cinemas remain the latter mainly in large shopping complexes , and thus any philosophical story that purports to be concerned with the cinema must, if it is to be meaningful, be concerned with what comes after cinema. Only in this context can the selection or the condensation required to delimit this work within the cinema studies frame make any sense, a condensation which is, after all, a part of every story as for instance the story that begins with the Chauvet caves and ends with Cave of Forgotten Dreams , just as every movie involves temporal condensation—24 Hour Psycho United Kingdom, notwithstanding.
If the need and the tendency to believe in fictions is an essential part of human life, that is, technical life, then this suggests that humans are those beings for whom life is more than mere life, who need more than just to subsist. For Husserl, the significance of the temporal object is as a tool for thinking temporal passage.
This is nothing other, as Stiegler points out, than a restatement of the Kuleshov effect. It means, furthermore, that each perception that I have, in moving from primary retention to secondary retention, may involve a re-ordering of my memories depending on the degree to which any particular perception is stereotypical or on the contrary unexpected , and thus a re-configuring of the criteria via which future selections in primary retention will occur.
If we all know and understand that there is a sense in which Hollywood has become the capital of the world, the question is to know how and why this was able to occur, and where it is taking us, and if it will still be true tomorrow, or should be true tomorrow. Stiegler argues that it was not because of American industrial power that the American film industry was able to dominate globally, but on the contrary that the former is premised on the latter, and that it was in America that cinematic power was fully realised because it was in America that there existed the greatest need to produce effective stories—to invent America itself.
The adoption of a fantasised common past may be necessary, but only to the extent that this fantasy is in fact the projection of a collective individuation process with a future, that is, that wants a future.
It is not a matter of condemning the fact that this organisation of the past is largely imaginary, as though it could simply be corrected. The inadequation of individuation means there is no common past, and yet we need to screen something of that inadequate past in order to project a common future, in order to believe in a future. If there is a crisis of the adoption process, then this is a crisis of knowledge, of knowledge as that in which we can believe, in which we can have confidence, knowledge being that which is transmitted intergenerationally and via the mnemo-technical system in its widest sense, including those institutions we call schools.
This is firstly a matter of thinking the changing place of schools, those institutions largely invented in the nineteenth century and through which, democratically, knowledge could be brought to that large collective individuation process we call the nation, thus organising the adoption process for what are called the industrial democracies, an adoption process operating through the mnemo-technical system of that epoch, that is, largely, through the printed word.
Today, however, these national programming institutions find themselves competing with increasingly globalised programming industries industries that are strengthening with the digital convergence of the audiovisual, information, and telecommunications , and the educational system premised on nineteenth century institutions and eighteenth century ideals no longer satisfies the needs of the adoption process, instead and in desperation substituting a process of adaptation that is constantly failing to catch up to the disruptions of the technical system, such that the overall tendency is to reduce schools to parks or stables…or even to pigsties p.
Stiegler finds two fundamental reasons for this change. One is that whereas previously the mnemo-technical system was to some extent separate from and independent of the technical system, in the sense that the institutions of the mnemo-technical system were to a certain extent shielded from disruptions of the technical system, maintaining themselves through the prestige and authority that derived from being bearers of tradition as well as of science, today this is no longer the case.
Rather, the mnemo-technical system has been absorbed fully into the technical system, in the sense that the very operation of the consumerist technical system depends more and more on the control and conditioning of perception, that is, of consumer behaviour, and thus the mnemo-technical system is the very battleground of what Stiegler refers to as a war of spirits, that is, of minds.
Whereas for Kant technology could only ever represent an application of scientific understanding, Stiegler shows that this means Kant is fundamentally incapable of thinking invention, that is, the creation of the new, and thus that he cannot be of any use in understanding technoscience, which subordinates science to technology, and thereby transforms science as that which makes possibilities that are then selected technically and according to the imperatives of investment.
The general consequence of this extension of technoscience to all areas of knowledge, and the subordination of all forms of knowledge to the imperatives of investment, but an investment operating according to ever-decreasing scales of time thereby degrading to speculation rather than investment  , is a crisis of knowledge itself, an anxiety and a loss of belief in the very idea of knowledge, that knowledge offers us a future.
In this sense, technoscientific becoming may be a chance. It is almost impossible to find the will to believe in such a story, in this fictional possibility of making a difference. But, Stiegler asks us, if not that, what? He is the author of Violent Democracy and co-director of The Ister
Technics and Time, 3: Cinematic Time and the Question of Malaise
Vuzilkree Interventions and Interviews, —Stanford: Stiegler will go on to argue in Technics and Time 3betnard Kant, that these schemas are not transcendental, but historically and therefore factically conditioned Stiegler a: If the need and the tendency to believe in fictions is an essential part of human life, that is, technical life, then this suggests that humans are those beings for whom life is more than mere life, who need more than yime to subsist. Education of Nearness in Digital Times. Citing articles via Google Scholar. This content is made freely available by the publisher. Rather, the mnemo-technical timr has been absorbed fully into the technical system, in the sense that the very operation of the consumerist technical system depends more and more on the control and conditioning of perception, that is, of consumer behaviour, and thus the mnemo-technical system is the very battleground of what Stiegler refers to as a war of spirits, that is, of minds. Subscribe to Article Alert.
BERNARD STIEGLER TECHNICS AND TIME 3 PDF