the dominant metahistories of technological progress that still shape our view of the past in the present. Other media archaeologists even question the plausibility of narrative itself as plausible assumptions for describing the being of technologies in time.2 In a rather rigid version of what is media archaeology, its theoretical stakes, and its recommended modus operandi, this text argues in favour of a radically material and mathematical approach to the study of cultural change, memory, and knowledge tradition, and even the very category of time itself. Such an approach displaces the human subject as the central figure of cultural history, and explores instead the role of non-human, non-discursive infrastructures and technical practices that shape how the past is made present, how time is recorded, and how the documents and narratives depend on technical methods of preservation and organisation. Embracing a variety of technological a priori, the reader is therefore invited into a world that is understood to exist almost independently of the literary frameworks of meaning through which the past and present are usually bridged: a universe of oscillatory vibrations and rhythmic pulsations produced by the machines and the techniques that human cultures have relied upon to divide, measure, and store intervals of time, to harmonise sounds, to map space. Even the apparent anthropologically fundamental (or even metaphysical) separation between presence and absence has been redefined by technological means of differentiating between "one" and "zero", a distinction that enabled the binary code of modern computers, but that can be traced back through longstanding historical precedents, such as the mechanical hindrance in clocks since late medieval Europe. Media archaeology pays attention to such pre- or nondiscursive elements, which are embedded in particular techniques and instrumental means of organising the basic building blocks of knowledge, such as temporality, presence, arithmetic, geometrical modelling, harmonics, and so on. Media studies must be prepared to break with narrative historiography and confront machines on their own terms, to engage with them truly media-archaeographically. This is not simply an abstract, theoretical exercise; media theories only can be valued only when being tested against hard(ware) evidence. Media scholarship - to the extent that it depends on the existence of archives of documents (codes) and material culture (hardware) from the past - needs to take this radical questioning of its own technological bases serious. In principle, media archaeology is not just insisting on the materiality of media in culture, but also revealing the power which drives them nowadays - which is algorithms, mathematical tools, in the precise sense of the ancient Greek "arché" which does not mean origin in the historistic sense but traces preconditions of cultural practice like the mathematical square root (media archaeology is "radical" in that sense). This prevents media archaeology from being simply nostalgic in terms of hardware and adds a sharper edge: the mathematical analysis. wolfgang ernst technologies of tradition: between symbolic and material (micro-)transmission This confrontation of the physical, time-based signal with logical, negentropic information poses a challenge for historicism in the age of digital media, resulting in a double bind of historical and ahistorical tempor(e)alities. Martin Heidegger frequently differentiated between history as lore (German Historie, Kunde) in the vulgar sense and historicity (German Geschichtlichkeit) as (trans-)mission of being itself: a trajectory into the future rather than a simple reference to the archive of the past.3 A sense of discontinuities, ruptures, thresholds, limits and series - in Foucault's sense - separates media archaeology from the traditional model of writing media history. For a mind trained in occidental culture, it is unusual to rethink multiple temporalities in ways which do not reduce any event in time to history. Trying to resist a reductive, linear narrative of technologies of tradition which would start in the past and result in the present condition ("from" materiality "to" the virtual), this argument intends to analyse both the material (entropic) forms of cultural tradition and the immaterial, almost time-invariant codes of transmission (the physical and the symbolical mode, material embodiment and logical implementations), elaborating on the shift from archaeological materialities as cultural premise to techno-mathematics as the new form of enculturation. Re-thinking cultural historicity: Transmission across space tradition over time There is a specific historicity which is embodied or implemented in the materialities of communication (Gumbrecht, 1988) - split into technologies of transmission (space-centred) and tradition (time-centred). There are different tempor(e)alities at work. When two separate partners (in fact: e-mail programs) communicate online, information passes through space, while "when a program stores data in a file (or a person saves a notebook in a desk drawer), the intention is to pass information through time (Gelernter, 1997, p. 100). The Canadian economist Harold A. Innis, one of the main inspirators for Marshall McLuhan's media theory, in his monography Empire and Communications (1950) differentiates between space- and time-accentuating forms of transmission, depending on the materialities (if not "media") of communication. As functionally embodied in such media, empires are either spatially or temporally "biased".4 According to Innis, inherent to the material properties of cultural technologies are spatial or temporal determinations which are interrelated to modes of executing power. Objects distributed over space allow for immediate communication, objects distributed over time favour persistence. But both modes are not categorically distinct but extreme formulations of one and the same dynamical eventuality. With advanced physics and neurology we get used to the idea that both Kantian a priori of archives in liquid times 2 My paraphrasing of the media-archaeological method explicitly refers to the opening address given by Jeremy Stolow to my lecture "Temporalizing the Present and Archiving Presence. The impact of Time-Critical Media Technologies" at Concordia University, Montreal, September 27, 2014 140 3 On temporality ("Zeitlichkeit"), see Heidegger, 1998, p. 136 4 "Bias" originally is a technical term in electronic engineering describing the necessary current polarisation to operate a vacuum tube - a literally pre-conditioning, a ground tension, an electric a priori. For magnetic recording, the "bias" names the pre-magnetisation of the tape by high frequency signals to ameliorate the signal-to-noise ratio (dynamics). 141

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