Nr. 05/2 (2014)

Synchronisation

Nichts ist so aktuell wie die Gegenwart; gegenwärtig sein aber heißt gleichzeitig sein mit etwas anderem, und diese Gleichzeitigkeit muss immer eigens durch geeignete Operationen der Übertragung, der Überbrückung, der Abstimmung und ihre Werkzeuge hergestellt werden. Mit der Gemachtheit der Zeit kommen nun unabweisbar Medien und Medienoperationen ins Spiel. Ihr Gegenwartsverhältnis ist ein doppeltes. Medien leisten und erzielen einerseits Synchronisierung. Das sind zuallererst, aber keineswegs ausschließlich, alle Uhren, aber auch alle Massenmedien, Beobachtungs- und Überwachungsmedien, Taktgeber und Metronomen sowie Steuerungs- und Übertragungsmedien. Andererseits setzt das Funktionieren derselben Medien die Operation der Synchronisierung medialer Operationen immer schon voraus, die Abstimmung der technischen Aggregate und Programme nach Takt und Frequenz. Medien sind der Synchronisierung als deren Agenten ebenso ausgesetzt, wie sie sie hervortreiben, sie erfordern sie, wie sie sie erzeugen. In Bezug auf Synchronisierungsoperationen ist beispielsweise die Geschichte der Zeitmessung selbst ein auf vertrackte Weise rekursives Phänomen. Denn in der Geschichte kann selbst eine Synchronisierungsleistung des Asynchronen, des Gegenwärtigen mit dem Vergangenen nämlich, gesehen werden. Je nach Perspektive wirkt darin aber auch eine De-Synchronisierung der Gegenwart durch die Abtrennung der historischen Vergangenheit, die, anders als die Zeit des Rituals oder der Tradition, ins Ab- und Ausgeschlossene verwiesen wird.

Contents

Editorial Lorenz Engell, Bernhard Siegert

Von Ganzheiten zu Kollektiven. Wege zu einer Ontologie sozialer Formen Philippe Descola

Im (Raum) sein: streuen – erstrecken – zerstreuen. Zu einer Medienökologie des Relationsraums Petra Löffler

Anwesend/Abwesend. Formen der Präsenz in der Mikrophonie Daniel Gethmann

Debatte: Anthropozän Christian Schwägerl/Reinhold Leinfelder und Niels Werber

Phänomene, Probleme und Aktanten der Gleichzeitigkeit – eine sozial- und medientheoretische Skizze Andreas Ziemann

Längengrade und Gleich- zeitigkeit in der Philosophie, der Physik und Imperien Bernhard Siegert

Jahresrechnung und Organisation. Von der Verfassungsphantastik zur technischen Chronologie bei Karl Dietrich Hüllmann Anna Echterhölter

Sync Sound/Sink Sound. Audiovision und Synchronisation in Michael Snows Rameau’s Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen Jan Philip Müller

Impossible synchronization. Temporal coordination in the risk society Elena Esposito

Abstracts

Lorenz Engell, Bernhard Siegert Editorial

Nichts ist so aktuell wie die Gegenwart; gegenwärtig sein aber heißt gleichzeitig sein mit etwas anderem, und diese Gleichzeitigkeit muss immer eigens durch geeignete Operationen der Übertragung, der Überbrückung, der Abstimmung und ihre Werkzeuge hergestellt werden. So schlicht erklärt sich die grundlegende und aktuelle Relevanz des Themas der Synchronisierung ebenso wie seine kulturtechnische und medienphilosophische Ausformung.

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Philippe Descola Von Ganzheiten zu Kollektiven. Wege zu einer Ontologie sozialer Formen

Following the methods of structural anthropology and Bruno Latour, the contribution discusses societies not as wholes in Durkheim’s sense but as collectives. Along the fundamental duality between material processes (corporeality) and mental states (inwardness) four main ontologies of social forms are presented, in which the two axes regulate specific continuities and differences between humans and non-humans of a collective: animism, totemism, naturalism and analogism.

Petra Löffler Im (Raum) sein: streuen – erstrecken – zerstreuen. Zu einer Medienökologie des Relationsraums

Relational spaces are variable patterns which establish an order of the coexisting. In them, forces of dispersion come into effect that form positional relationships and neighborhoods. In line with the philosophical concept of relational space, the paper sketches a media ecology of coexistence, of the simultaneous juxtaposition of the scattered, and envisages an ethics and aesthetics of distribution. Starting with Martin Heidegger’s ontological postulate of an “original dispersion of existence” and its post-structuralist and philosophical critique, various concepts of relational spaces and regimes of dispersion are discussed.

Daniel Gethmann Anwesend/Abwesend. Formen der Präsenz in der Mikrophonie

Karl Würzburger’s radio theory labels novel vocal-acoustic forms of presence with the concept of “Mikrophonie” (microphonics). Passing through the microphone, transmitted voices undergo a ubiquitous distribution, which in a play with effects of presence and absence promotes the development of specific forms of radiophonic voices.

Christian Schwägerl/Reinhold Leinfelder und Niels Werber Debatte: Anthropozän

The hypothesis of a new geological era, the “Anthropocene”, is discussed intensively since its presentation by the chemist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen in 2000. The beginning of the Anthropocene is usually dated to 1800 and put into the context of the industrialization. Since then, according to Crutzen, mankind has become a quasi-geological force and human infrastructures have developed into a primary influence on the biological, geological and atmospheric processes on Earth. In their contribution, Christian Schwägerl and Reinhold Leinfelder present examples of the long-term changes and arguments for the “reorganization of the entire Earth system”, supporting the thesis of the Anthropocene and the “man-made” Earth. In their article they contradict the premature impression that the Anthropocene is nothing but a new umbrella term for everything that is considered an environmental problem. Rather, the authors emphasize the potential of man and his technologies for the positive design of his habitat and the transformation of the earth. They understand the Anthropocene not only as a description of a purely physical state, but also as a social and scientific challenge. Niels Werber puts in his contribution the notorious epoch threshold 1800 in question. Furthermore, he criticizes that the discourse of the Anthropocene relies solely on the supposed evidence of science, especially of geological data and figures, and thus neglects in its effort to describe a “geological age of mankind” precisely the emerging knowledge of man, social order and culture. Instead, Werber understands the “Anthropocene” as a contribution to the “self-description of society,” i.e. to a possible integration of mankind and society into the world.

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Andreas Ziemann Phänomene, Probleme und Aktanten der Gleichzeitigkeit – eine sozial- und medientheoretische Skizze

In its first part, the article reconstructs descriptions of corporal perception of simultaneity. Abstract concepts and categories of time are secondary to these perceptions and objectified by means of language. In a second part, with reference to system theory, the perspective is turned around, so that simultaneity is discussed as a secondary mode of social relations and the inner stream of consciousness; in this view, simultaneity is based on world experience and techniques of synchronization. In conclusion, the paper analyses how modern electronic mass media and especially (live) television produces and manipulates autonomously worldwide synchronization.

Bernhard Siegert Längengrade und Gleich- zeitigkeit in der Philosophie, der Physik und Imperien

From the 16th to the 18th century, the introduction of longitude on the high seas was considered the greatest scientific challenge. The paper outlines their impact on the creation of the British Empire, physics, and the early philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Against the background of this story, a historical ontology of the clock is developed. While the clock was a machine in the Middle Ages, it became an instrument in early modernity and a medium in the 19th and 20th century. As a medium of existence, the clock is not only an ontic device to measure the time, but also an ontological thing that provides access to the technical nature of existence.

Anna Echterhölter Jahresrechnung und Organisation. Von der Verfassungsphantastik zur technischen Chronologie bei Karl Dietrich Hüllmann

At the beginning of the 19th century, chronology is emerging as a historical subdiscipline. Using the example of a draft by Karl Dietrich Hüllmann, a forgotten precursor of economics, the paper pursues effects of cultural and social synchronization. In contrast to the doctrines of his time, Hüllmann surprisingly justifies the origin of the state with reference to the calculation of time: thus, technically produced chronology serves him as an argument that rivals theories of contract based on natural history.

Jan Philip Müller Sync Sound/Sink Sound. Audiovision und Synchronisation in Michael Snows Rameau’s Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen

Micheal Snow’s talking picture »Rameau’s Nephew […]« (1974) develops an ever unstable taxonomy of audio-visual relations in the talking movie. The contribution investigates this experimental film by following three motives – translation, surface, water – with which the talking movie reflects itself. Thus, moments of transition between mere technical lip-sync and “synchresis” (irreducible audio-visual synthesis of perception, a term coined by Michel Chion) – prove to be a critical point of the talking movie. In this perspective, synchronization is to be understood as a process which distributes and correlates potentials of homogenization and heterogenization.

Elena Esposito Impossible synchronization. Temporal coordination in the risk society

Our society is often understood and discussed as a society of non-contemporaneity (Ungleichzeitigkeit)—an issue that undoubtedly corresponds to a widespread and disturbing feeling in today’s society. Both at personal level and in communicative contexts one often has the impression of an interlacement and a contrast among different rhythms, temporal horizons, durations and terms, and the result is usually a sort of pressure and a sense of inadequacy. It seems to me, however, that the difficulties we have to face don’t depend so much on the fact that we belong to a culture (or even to the intersection among various cultures) of not-contemporaneity: such cultures have existed, we can describe them and we can reconstruct their relationship with time, but they didn’t have the problems of disorientation that seem to torment us today. On the contrary: we have them because our culture is rather a culture of contemporaneity, and this produces problems of synchronisation and a complexity of temporal relations we still cannot adequately deal with.

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