Astronomy as Intermedia: 19th Century Optical Mobilism and Cosmopolitics


Clouds are therefore a fine metaphor for intermediary and automatic beings… Trees too are clouds: only, they are slower at occupying space.


In the new landscape of media archaeology—especially variantology, which insists on ramified rather than convergent developments—media, too, appear to be imperceptibly changing from stable trees into metastable clouds. If we accelerate that motion, then the whole McLuhan-Kittler-Parikka media forest of semi-separate specimens starts to look like a self-rearranging ballet—a murmuration across species. At a certain historical rate, in other words, problems of media ontology and phylogenesis tend to turn into animated sequences in which individual or individuated media are but arrested moments.

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