Eye or Ear: Walter Benjamin on Optical and Acoustical Media
Co-Organizer: Sven Spieker (with Elisabeth Weber and Wolf Kittler). UCSB, December 1, 2006. This one-day international conference investigated the relationship between language theory and radio in Benjamin’s thinking. Since the essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” is predominantly focused on painting, photography and film, much more is known about Benjamin’s understanding of these (optical) media than about his approach to such acoustic devices as the telephone, the wireless telegraph, radio, and sound film. The conference aimed to address this gap in Benjamin scholarship.