Discussion by Andrea Bohlman (AB), Joshua Billings (JB), Melle Kromhout (MK), Peter McMurray (PM) and Stephanie Probst (SP).
PM: It seems fitting to begin with a shout-out to Bernhard Siegert, whose Passage des Digitalen sparked this digital conversation in the first place. In his essay “Media After Media” (2015), he writes:
“Kittler has always been a codebreaker. The fundamental drive behind his analyses had always been the basic assumption that the fictionality of literary characters, or the generality of philosophical concepts, was a mere trick to conceal a real historical person, or some power relation. Behind the masks of humanity, truth, the spirit, you have to discover what in Kittler-German was called ‘Klartext’ (a term from cryptology), the ‘clear text’ of power relations and the materialities of media, which always already determine the situation in which human beings are able to write, to love, to know, to forget” (81-82).