Cinematic time — The cinema of consciousness — I and we: the American politics of adoption — The malaise of our educational institutions — Making (the). Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus is a book by the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler has thus far published three volumes in the Technics and Time series. The Fault of Epimetheus was followed by Tome 2: La désorientation. Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 3: Cinematic Time and the Question of Malaise Stanford University Press, ISBN: 9 US$ (pb ).

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Bernard Stiegler, Technics and Time, 3: Even though these images may be the earliest known examples of what we now call cave art, and thus we tend to think of Chauvet like Lascaux as an event or an historic datewe also know that these could not actually have been the first cave paintings ever produced. We know this for two reasons.

Firstly, because to bernaed such imagery required tools and instruments, materials, that bernxrd invention and development over a period of time to reach the point where they could be utilised as successfully as they are in Chauvet.

Technics and Time, 3: Cinematic Time and the Question of Malaise

And just as the development of the technical implements of artistry must have had a prior history, so too the theoretico-practical knowledge required to employ these tools aesthetically must have been acquired over a long duration.

Inthe year the Chauvet Cave was discovered that is, re-discoveredthat is, the year that the investment that these deposits represented was able to provide for human history a return that could never have been anticipated by the producers of these artworks, the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler published the first volume of his monumental Technics and Time series.

In it he made a convincing case that human life is technical life, that is, that it is not the case stieglet the human the who invented the technical the what but on the contrary that they are co-originary, that the human and the technical are stieglfr tendencies that compose together within a single process.

Thus it is that every technical object is a form of memory, an exteriorisation of the consciousness that fashioned it, capable of being re-examined by that consciousness, or examined by his or her descendants, both intergenerationally and archaeologically. In this sense, every technical object, every tool or artefact, is a mirror, or a screen.

But I further imagine that Herzog will allude to the mysteriousness of these images, to their obscurity as much as their clarity, to the fact that we can barely imagine what animated these awfully old artists, or in other words that what these images make it possible for us to remember is that the desires or dreams of these artists are to a large extent ebrnard forgotten.

Although we have these mysteriously maintained images, we have no idea of the myths or rituals—that is, the forms of knowledge and ways of life—that may have been woven around them.

And as such they are also signs pointing to the possibility of a perhaps terrifyingly distant future in which we can imagine ourselves being both remembered and forgotten. The propensity to believe in stories and fables, the passion for fairy tales, just as satisfying in the old as in the very young, is perpetuated from generation to generation because it forges the link between the generations.

Insatiable, they hold out the promise, to generations to come, of the writing of new episodes of future life, yet to be invented, to be fictionalized. It will turn out that cinema is a very special case of a mnemo-technical instrument, and thus it is feasible to examine this work within a cinema studies context, but only if it is also made clear that the cinema, or even the age of cinema, can never truly be thought in isolation, either from what precedes it from Chauvet to Daguerre or from what conjoins to it television or from that system into which it is currently being inserted digital convergence.


The brief metastable moment that will have been the century of cinema is now perhaps passing, even if movies and cinemas remain the latter mainly in large shopping complexesand thus any philosophical story that purports to be concerned with the cinema must, if it is to be meaningful, be concerned with what comes after cinema.

Only in this context can the selection or the condensation required to delimit this work within the cinema studies frame make any sense, a condensation which is, after all, a part of every story as for instance the story that begins with the Chauvet caves and ends with Cave of Forgotten Dreamsjust as every movie involves temporal condensation— 24 Hour Psycho United Bernarr, notwithstanding.

If the need and the tendency to believe in fictions is an essential part of human life, that is, technical life, then this suggests that humans are those beings for whom life is more than mere life, who need more than just to subsist.

Technics and Time, 3: Stiegler extracts two fundamental cinematic principles: For Husserl, the significance of the temporal object is as a tool for thinking temporal passage. This is nothing other, as Stiegler points out, than wnd restatement of the Kuleshov effect.

It means, furthermore, that each perception aand I have, in moving from primary retention to secondary retention, may involve a re-ordering of my memories depending on the degree to which any particular perception is stereotypical or stiegleg the contrary unexpectedand thus a re-configuring of the criteria via which future selections in primary retention will occur.

That perception is a selection based on criteria founded in memory and the unconscious implies that to influence memory and the unconscious is to influence these criteria, and thus perception itself, and thus behaviour itself.

The issue raised by Hollywood and the culture industry is not that of a technicisation of memory that determines consciousness, so much as of an industrialisation of memory that conditions consciousness: If we all know and understand that there is a sense in which Hollywood has become the capital of the world, the question is to know how and why this was able to occur, and where it is taking us, and if it will still be true tomorrow, or should be true tomorrow.

Stiegler argues that it was not because of American industrial power that the American film industry was able to dominate globally, but on the contrary that the former is premised on the latter, and that it was in America that cinematic power was fully realised because it was in America that there existed the greatest need to produce effective stories—to invent America itself.

The adoption of a fantasised tdchnics past may be necessary, but only to the extent that this fantasy is in fact the projection of a collective individuation process with a future, that is, that wants a future.

Technics and Time, 3: Cinematic Time and the Question of Malaise, Bernard Stiegler

It is not a matter of condemning the fact that this organisation of the past is largely imaginary, as though it could simply be corrected. The inadequation of individuation means there is no common past, and yet we need to screen something of that inadequate past in order to project a common future, in order to believe in a future.

It is thus not a matter of opposing perception and imagination, but rather of recognising that this inadequation means that imagination haunts all perception, and hence that thinking begins when it begins to think the criteria by which reality and imagination can be distinguished without being opposed: If there is a crisis of the adoption process, then this is a crisis of knowledge, of knowledge as that in which we can believe, in which we can have confidence, knowledge being that which is transmitted intergenerationally and via the mnemo-technical system in its widest sense, including those institutions we call schools.


This is firstly a matter of thinking the changing place of schools, those institutions largely invented in the nineteenth century and through which, democratically, knowledge could be brought to that large collective individuation process we call the nation, thus organising the adoption process for what are called the industrial democracies, an adoption process operating through the mnemo-technical system of that epoch, that is, largely, through the printed word.

Today, however, these national programming institutions find themselves competing with increasingly globalised programming industries industries that are strengthening with the digital convergence of the audiovisual, information, and telecommunicationsand the educational system premised on nineteenth century institutions and eighteenth century ideals no longer satisfies the needs of the adoption process, instead and in desperation substituting a process of adaptation that is constantly failing to catch up to the disruptions of the technical system, such that the overall tendency is to reduce schools to parks or stables…or even to pigsties p.

Stiegler finds two fundamental reasons for this change. One is that whereas previously the mnemo-technical system was to some extent separate from and independent of the technical system, in the sense that the institutions of the mnemo-technical system were to a certain extent shielded from disruptions of the technical system, maintaining themselves through the prestige and authority that derived from being bearers of tradition as well as of science, today this is no longer the case.

Rather, the mnemo-technical system has been absorbed fully into the technical system, in the sense that the very operation of the consumerist technical system depends more and more on the control and conditioning of perception, that is, of consumer behaviour, and thus the mnemo-technical system is the very battleground of what Stiegler refers to as a war of spirits, that is, of minds.

Bernard Stiegler: Philosophy, Technics, and Activism | Cultural Politics | Duke University Press

But in fact this is only a part of a deeper transformation, the transformation by which the distinction between science and technology is recomposed as technoscience. Whereas for Kant technology could only ever represent an application of scientific tsiegler, Stiegler shows atiegler this means Kant is fundamentally incapable of thinking invention, that is, the creation of the new, and thus that he cannot be of any use in understanding technoscience, which subordinates science to technology, and thereby transforms science as that which makes possibilities that are then selected technically and according to the imperatives of investment.

The general consequence of this extension of technoscience to all areas of knowledge, and the subordination of all forms of knowledge to the imperatives of investment, but an investment operating according to ever-decreasing scales of time thereby degrading to speculation rather than investment [3]is a crisis of knowledge itself, an anxiety and a loss of belief in the very idea of knowledge, that knowledge offers us a future. In this sense, technoscientific becoming may be a chance.

It is almost impossible to find the will to believe in such a story, in this fictional possibility of making a difference. But, Stiegler asks us, if not that, what? Interventions and Interviews, —Stanford: Stanford University Press,pp. Disbelief and Discredit, Volume 1Cambridge: He is the author of Violent Democracy and co-director of The Ister The third volume of the Technics and Time series opens with the following claim: