Sarah Jackson: Telephone Greetings
Opening Telepoetics, this paper welcomes you to the event and begins with a brief reflection on ‘hello’.
Will Self: Picking Up
Picking up the phone and opening the conversation, Will Self will discuss the dialectical relation between telecommunication technologies and human psychopathology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, tapping in to the role of the phone in producing the state we’re in…
Elizabeth Bruton: What we talk about when we talk about telephones
This brief introduction will discuss the Exchange section of the Science Museum’s Information Age gallery, exploring the history of telephony in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth century.
Anne Archer: Passing the Call
This introduction from the Head of Heritage and Archives at BT (a Crossed Lines partner) welcomes you to the symposium and introduces listeners to the collection.
I’m Sam Buchan-Watts, Research Assistant for Crossed Lines and I’ll be chairing this panel, ‘Hello’. So ‘Hello!’, or ‘Ahoy!’ – which we learn was Bell’s preferred form of introduction. Thank you Sarah, Will, Elizabeth and Anne for getting us going. And what a rich set of introductions it is. A question to begin with: Telephones call across space, but also, as we hear from these compelling accounts, across time. In Will’s rendering, modernism is an ongoing historical period which has seen an epochal shift to bidirectional systems of communication: to networks rather than the hierarchal ...6 months ago
@anne_archer, I find your comments about the fragility of digital archiving (versus paper) really suggestive - 'dark spots' in the archive feels like an inherently poetic idea. It reminded me of a footnote in the poet Sandeep Parmar's great book, Eidolon, about the historical silencing and villainising of Helen of Troy, in part, she argues, in the way that her character has been archived over time so as to deny her voice, record, agency. Parmar writes: 'She makes no attempt to author her story and her keeping schtum is a symptom of the archive. After all, we don’t make archives of things tha...6 months ago
@crossedlinesk8 Obviously, I too would like to hear others comment but in the meantime I would give the last word (first) to Borges, who (I think, like Walter Benjamin) well understood what it was to be 'at the end of the line', the artist among the archives, unreliable and yet faithful: The Keeper of the Books Here they stand: gardens and temples and the reason for temples;exact music and exact words;the sixty-four hexagrams;ceremonies, which are the only wisdomthat the Firmament accords to men;the conduct of that emperorwhose perfect rule was reflected in the world, which mirrored him,...6 months ago
I think @dr-don has said it well on the subject of archives by rounding off with Borges's starry books, which also provides me with a neat moment to end this generative 'Hello' panel with 'Goodbye'. Huge thanks to Will, Sarah, Anne and Liz for such stimulating openings to an expansive week of conversation, and to all those who have engaged in the comments. I look forward to seeing many of you for closing remarks and a toast at 6pm BST.6 months ago
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