Die Gutenberg-Parenthese

Could the most reliable futurist of the digital age be…Johannes Gutenberg?

Possibly. Or, definitely, if you subscribe to the theory of the Gutenberg Parenthesis: the idea that the post-Gutenberg era — the period from, roughly, the 15th century to the 20th, an age defined by textuality — was essentially an interruption in the broader arc of human communication. And that we are now, via the discursive architecture of the web, slowly returning to a state in which orality — conversation, gossip, the ephemeral — defines our media culture.

It’s a controversial idea, but a fascinating one. …

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Befinden wir uns in einer post-Gutenberg-parenthetischen Ära?

If “parenthetical” culture is dominated by the original, individual, autonomous, stable and canonical composition, then pre-parenthetical culture is rather dominated by the opposites of these qualities: the re-creative, collective, con-textual, unstable, traditional performance, which … may be another way of formulating the “sampling, remixing, borowing, reshaping, appropriating and recontextualizing” characteristic of “post-parenthetic”, digital internet culture. (Tom Pettitt)

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