Making the Perfect Record: From Inscription to Impression in Early Magnetic Recording

Medial Ideology

In Mechanisms, Kirschenbaum (2008, 36) contextualizes and defines medial ideology in the following way: “Jerome McGann has used the phrase ‘Romantic ideology’ to describe the manner in which modern literary criticism of the Romantic poets has been characterized by ‘an uncritical absorption in Romanticism’s own self-representations.’ I believe electronic textual theory has labored under similar uncritical absorptions of the medium’s self- or seemingly self-evident representations. While often precisely Romantic in their celebration of the fragile half-life of the digital, the ‘ideology’ I want to delineate below is perhaps better thought of as medial—that is, one that substitutes popular representations of a medium, socially constructed and culturally activated to perform specific kinds of work, for a more comprehensive treatment of the material particulars of a given technology.”

This page has paths: