Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Medienwissenschaft

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Institut für Musik­wissen­schaft und Medien­wissen­schaft | Medienwissenschaft |  ↳ Medientheorien | Kolloquium | Yen-Chen Chang: Technophysis: A Media-archaeological Investigation of Technology and Nature from Antiquity to the Present in China [Masterabeit]

Yen-Chen Chang: Technophysis: A Media-archaeological Investigation of Technology and Nature from Antiquity to the Present in China [Masterabeit]

  • Wann 26.01.2022 von 18:00 bis 20:00
  • Wo Online via Zoom Medientheater, Raum 0.01, Georgenstraße 47, 10117 Berlin
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This presentation aims to give a brief account of my media-archaeological investigation in China from the very early beginning of the Chinese civilisation based on mythological stories to the current digital era. The Chinese techno-scientific thinking has undergone a number of paradigm shifts, as Thomas Kuhn might call it, throughout the history such as the Calendar Crisis in the late Ming Dynasty (1629-1644), which led to the Gregorian Reform, or the SelfStrengthening Movement 自強運動 (1861-1895) aka. Western Affairs Movement 洋務運 動 after China’s defeat in both Opium Wars 鴉片戰爭 (1839-1860) against the British Empire and the French Empire. Since then, the development of the science and technology in China subsequently transited into the modern period. Even up until now, China is still immensely influenced by these westernisation movements and the modern European techno-science. In a bid to find out the possible media thinking and media-archaeological objects during these nearly 200 years of techno-scientific transformation in China, I will try to make a comparative timeline of the important historical events and technological developments between China and Europe to demonstrate the exchange of technological ideas between the two civilisations such as 1) Leibniz’s invention of binary system inspired by I Ching 易經 aka. Book of Changes, and 2) the first time-keeping medium 自鳴鐘 (striking clock) brought into China in 1581 by Italian Jesuit priest Michele Ruggieri 羅明堅. Apart from the well documented literature on the technological exchange, there is a literary account of the creation of China’s allegedly first automata by inventor Huang Lüzhuang 黃履莊 in the 17th Century (Unfortunately, none of his inventions and publications survived or rediscovered.). And, finally, I will also introduce a number of inventions during the modern period in China such as the highly complicated mechanical machine the Chinese Typewriter (invented in 1916) as well as the creation of the Chinese transliteration systems zhùyīn 注音 (officially adopted in 1918 by the ROC) and pinyin 拼音 (since 1958 in the PRC) in the hope of a quick adaptation to QWERTY keyboard. 


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