Testimonial Media Restricted; Files Only

Miller, Ben (2009)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/5m60qs11x?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
Testimonial Media
By Ben Miller

Testimonial Media explores the ways in which the recording methods and
material histories of magnetic and antecedent media have shaped witness accounts of
traumatic events. This exploration suggests that a medium's influence reveals itself in the
figure of the mediated witness, or witness subject. Reading the figure of the witness
subject will show that explanations of survival are contingent upon aspects and of the
recording, preservation, and distribution media used in their construction.

This reading necessitates the contemplation of diverse and ambitious witnessing
projects, as well as the study of more speculative media that have been applied to the
problem of documenting survival. The most historically significant of those projects and
technologies are the Works Progress Administration's Federal Writers' Project Ex-Slave
Narratives, the Fortunoff Archive for Holocaust Video Testimony, Yale's Genocide
Studies Program's Cambodian Genocide Project, Eadweard Muybridge's Zoopraxiscope,
and Vannevar Bush's Memex.

These projects and technologies, and the contemporary incarnations of the
mediated witnesses they produced, were enabled by the development of three figural
practices: aggregation, association, and interpolation. Combined, these practices describe
the development of the dominant modes of address to traumatic events. Each chapter of
this study details one of those figures, and the kinds of witnessing it brought into being.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION: TESTIMONIAL MEDIA 1
Digital Memories of Survival 1

CHAPTER ONE: COLLECTIVE MAGNETIC WITNESS 12
Mediated Witnessing 12
Preserving The Witness Subject 18
A Temporary (Magnetic) History 20
Listening to History 24
The Testimedial Dependance 30
"I was born in Lithonia, Georgia..." 38
Continuous Survival 57
The Universal Reference Language of Traumatic Events 67
Conclusion 74

CHAPTER TWO: TRAUMATIZED LOGICS OF ASSOCIATION 76
As They Thought 76
The Logic of Testimony, 2007 77
Memorial Technology, 1945 82
Documents of Policy and Technology 91
A Trojan "All" 98
Fracturing of "All" 103
To Stride, To Think 107
A Mirror with Which to Walk 115
Machinic Therapy 119
An Internal Supplement 122
As We May Mediate 126

CHAPTER THREE: INTERPOLATED FIGURES OF NEAR-EXECUTION 129
Narratives of Survival 129
Rising Up 132
The Body in Time 135
A Digital Zoopraxiscope 138
Le Château, disait-on 157
Aux yeux des Russes 161
The Synthetic Eye 172

WORK CITED 178

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