The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media

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9780226421353: The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media
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This book is about media in the way that "Moby-Dick" is about whaling. When Melville set the "Pequod" sailing between heaven and earth, he turned the ship into a lens through which his readers could examine humankind s place in the cosmos. In "The Marvelous Clouds," Peters turns water, land, fire, and sky into lenses through which readers can explore the role of mediation in every aspect of their lives. This is a completely original, wildly ambitious, and deliciously lyrical book. It will certainly change the way you see media. It might also change the way you see the world. --Fred Turner, author of The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties" More than fundamental. Media in this book are not defined as just more technological supplements to human beings but as a source that opens an extension for human self-knowledge. . . . Peters defines modern technologies as a space endowed with intelligence that seeks to be like God. --Dmytro Drozdovskyi, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine" "More than fundamental. Media in this book are not defined as just more technological supplements to human beings but as a source that opens an extension for human self-knowledge. . . . Peters defines modern technologies as a space endowed with intelligence that seeks to be like God."--Dmytro Drozdovskyi, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine "Peters's dazzlingly intelligent and elegantly written book has the potential of marking a long-anticipated threshold in the world of media studies. Conversant with the philosophical traditions and with the ongoing debates in Germany, where this emerging discipline took its origin, his epistemological realism overcomes the conventional positions of the 'linguistic turn' and of 'constructivism' with a fresh and truly inspired unfolding of intuitions ranging from Martin Heidegger's 'fourfold' to the Emersonian philosophy of nature. Between earth and sky, Peters understands and analyzes media as the energy behind our environment's permanent transformations. The Marvelous Clouds, I believe, is the foundational media epistemology that we have been awaiting for decades."--Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, author of Atmosphere, Mood, Stimmung: On a Hidden Potential of Literature "Wide-ranging, playful, erudite, and delightfully diverse, The Marvelous Clouds redefines media in the largest possible terms, as anything that communicates meaning, including bodies, the environment, and the world itself. Although this may seem to rob media of its specificity and therefore of its theoretical purchase, in Peters's hands it becomes the occasion for making surprising and insightful connections. A treat for academics and general readers alike, this is a book not to be missed."--N. Katherine Hayles, author of How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis "This book is about media in the way that Moby-Dick is about whaling. When Melville set the Pequod sailing between heaven and earth, he turned the ship into a lens through which his readers could examine humankind's place in the cosmos. In The Marvelous Clouds, Peters turns water, land, fire, and sky into lenses through which readers can explore the role of mediation in every aspect of their lives. This is a completely original, wildly ambitious, and deliciously lyrical book. It will certainly change the way you see media. It might also change the way you see the world."--Fred Turner, author of The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties Peters s dazzlingly intelligent and elegantly written book has the potential of marking a long-anticipated threshold in the world of media studies. Conversant with the philosophical traditions and with the ongoing debates in Germany, where this emerging discipline took its origin, his epistemological realism overcomes the conventional positions of the linguistic turn and of constructivism with a fresh and truly inspired unfolding of intuitions ranging from Martin Heidegger's fourfold to the Emersonian philosophy of nature. Between earth and sky, Peters understands and analyzes media as the energy behind our environment s permanent transformations. The Marvelous Clouds, I believe, is the foundational media epistemology that we have been awaiting for decades. --Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, author of Atmosphere, Mood, Stimmung: On a Hidden Potential of Literature" Wide-ranging, playful, erudite, and delightfully diverse, The Marvelous Clouds redefines media in the largest possible terms, as anything that communicates meaning, including bodies, the environment, and the world itself. Although this may seem to rob media of its specificity and therefore of its theoretical purchase, in Peters s hands it becomes the occasion for making surprising and insightful connections. A treat for academics and general readers alike, this is a book not to be missed. --N. Katherine Hayles, author of How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis" This book is about media in the way that Moby-Dick is about whaling. When Melville set the Pequod sailing between heaven and earth, he turned the ship into a lens through which his readers could examine humankind s place in the cosmos. In The Marvelous Clouds, Peters turns water, land, fire, and sky into lenses through which readers can explore the role of mediation in every aspect of their lives. This is a completely original, wildly ambitious, and deliciously lyrical book. It will certainly change the way you see media. It might also change the way you see the world. --Fred Turner, author of The Democratic Surround: Multimedia and American Liberalism from World War II to the Psychedelic Sixties"

Reseña del editor:

When we speak of clouds these days, it is as likely that we mean data clouds or network clouds as cumulus or stratus. In their sharing of the term, both kinds of clouds reveal an essential truth: that the natural world and the technological world are not so distinct. In The Marvelous Clouds, John Durham Peters argues that though we often think of media as environments, the reverse is just as true environments are media. Peters defines media expansively as elements that compose the human world. Drawing from ideas implicit in media philosophy, Peters argues that media are more than carriers of messages: they are the very infrastructures combining nature and culture that allow human life to thrive. Through an encyclopedic array of examples from the oceans to the skies, The Marvelous Clouds reveals the long prehistory of so-called new media. Digital media, Peters argues, are an extension of early practices tied to the establishment of civilization such as mastering fire, building calendars, reading the stars, creating language, and establishing religions. New media do not take us into uncharted waters, but rather confront us with the deepest and oldest questions of society and ecology: how to manage the relations people have with themselves, others, and the natural world. A wide-ranging meditation on the many means we have employed to cope with the struggles of existence from navigation to farming, meteorology to Google The Marvelous Clouds shows how media lie at the very heart of our interactions with the world around us. Peters's book will not only change how we think about media but provide a new appreciation for the day-to-day foundations of life on earth that we so often take for granted.

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9780226253831: The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media

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ISBN 10:  022625383X ISBN 13:  9780226253831
Editorial: University of Chicago Press, 2015
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