chapter  8
17 Pages

Television in and out of Time

WithTimothy Barker

Focussing on the technical process of transmission, this chapter conducts a media philosophical reflection on memory, temporality and digital television. Most discussions about memory and media focus either on storage technologies or the aesthetics of photomechanical media such as film. This chapter attempts to take these discussions in a new direction by focussing on the way television – a transmission rather than storage medium – mobilises the archive and articulates recent philosophies of time, memory and post-history. Media archaeological in its approach and inspired by Kittler’s description of the television as ‘radical cutting’, the chapter begins with an exploration of key moments from television’s past and concludes with a reflection on the way these techniques for dealing with time-based problems are folded into the contemporary example of the YouTube footage of the killing of Muammar Gaddafi.