(Not) Made by the human hand

Media consciousness and immediacy in the cultural production of the real

in Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale
Author:
Mattijs Van De Port
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Taking its examples from the realm of popular religion and popular culture, this essay shows how sensations of im‐mediacy are sought and produced in a great number of fantasy scripts. Some of these scripts seek to undo media‐awareness: concealing or denying the involvement of the human hand they produce the sensation that one's imaginations are not human fabrications at all, but immanent to the world. Other scripts, however, flauntingly reveal the mediation process and the workings of the human hand in it. Yet on closer inspection, these latter scripts oftentimes throw into relief the moment where – all the awareness of the medium notwithstanding – the mediation process is transcended. The cases discussed help the author to ponder the place of the medium in what he calls ‘the cultural production of the really real’.

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