Why do serious typists prefer clicking keyboards



1 DISSERTATION / DOCTORAL THESIS Title of the dissertation / Title of the Doctoral Thesis Hand, skin, haptic media. Media configurations of the sense of touch written by / submitted by Jana Herwig, M.A. Desired academic degree / in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doktorin der Philosophie (Dr. phil.) Wien, 2017 / Vienna, 2017 Studienkennzahl according to Studienblatt / degree program code as it appears on the student record sheet: A Dissertationsgebiet lt . Studienblatt / field of study as it appears on the student record sheet: Supervisor: Theater-, Film- und Medienwissenschaft Univ.-Prof. Dr. Klemens Gruber

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3 Acknowledgments I am sincerely grateful for the collaboration with my colleagues from the FWF research project Texture Matters. The Optical and Haptical in Media (TRP 97 G21), above all Klemens Gruber (Zeit, Rat, Kipferl, as well as insistency at the right time) and Antonia Lant (our translational brainpower, without whom we would never have submitted this project). Thank you, dear Alexandra Seibel, for coffee and more one day we will write about Worringer. Second, I would like to thank all the students who accompanied the topics of this work in my seminars at the Institute for Theater, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna and who worked with me through post-digitality, gestures, prostheses, tools and haptic films without ours Discussions, this work would have been completely different. And because people not only want to think and work, but also want to live, my heartfelt thanks go to Herbert, without whom everything would be an impossibility and no more joy, as well as to M.M.S. and J.G.S. Thanks go to my other family, married, blood and elective relatives, especially my brave mother Helga. Together we remember Immo (). You miss. Vienna, June 2017 Jana Herwig

4 Contents 1. Introduction Two conjunctions of the haptic The boom of the haptic in digital culture The era of mainframes The discovery of interfaces From time sharing to personal media The touchscreen touching what appears Weaving and linking the hapticity of the networks Key / keys as a basic dilemma of media culture Key and touchscreen The modern key The key monochord of the early modern era The separation of key and keys The question of user friendliness The key, the real and the symbolic Medial configurations of the sense of touch Hand, skin, haptic media The hand between material and symbol The manual entanglement of material and Symbol The hand as an organ of integration The medial as the symbolic? Relationship between hand and device The instrument The tool The stuff and the handiness The tool and the control The two sides of the tool The automat Automatic with manual energy The manipulated fascination automat ... 79

5 The disclosed automat Automat or machine? The machine Hand and tool The power leaves the hand Mechanics as a program Programming by hand The triggering of the programs of the others The medium media and the manipulation of the symbolic From the manual image machine to the film Interactive media and the tool question The computer as a multimodal device The medium as Anti tool Tactile media Tactility as interplay of the senses The tactility of language Dissection and structure Digitality and tactility Tactile reconfigurations The hands and sight The connection between the sense of touch and sight Two perspectives: use and contemplation The prudence of use The blindness of the programmed sight Paths in an open world The non-ocular vision of the agents hand, thought and language in Heidegger Derrida's revision: hand or hands? Views of the world People at typewriters

6 Writing implements for the blind, blind machines Appearances from the Underwood Reloaded font The gaze of the literate and the others Kittlers Typewriter vs. Theodora Bosanquet The mobile tactile gaze The fit of the device and the individual hand Sense of sight and touch in design contexts Involved perspectives: Manual Screenic Vision Incidental perspectives : Tactile Vision Tactile vision and perception of the surroundings The skin in the media Aspects of the skin and its mediation The skin as a boundary: protection, identity, expression The skin as a contact surface: Confrontation between visual and haptic: With Riegl to the games The film as skin and surface for meeting haptics Media Media technology and the technique of touch Utopias of haptic media Salomo Friedländer's remote switch Aldous Huxley's Feelies Salvador Dalí's tactile cinema Oswald Wiener's Bio Adapter Conclusion Bibliography Abstract (German) Abstract (English)

7 1. Introduction The connection between the sense of touch and the media has become more and more prominent in recent years, so much and at the same time so little is clear. So much, because somehow everyone has a touchscreen today, IT technology and network culture have become journalistic departments and so news about newly developed haptic gadgets and innovative physical forms of interaction find their way into reporting several times a year: Ultrahaptics enables haptic feedback via ultrasound 1, New Macbook Pro: First testers enthusiastic about touch bar 2, exoskeleton glove makes virtual objects tangible 3, etc. On the other hand, the technologies are as heterogeneous as the aesthetic consequences are unclear. Haptic displays, e.g. enable the exploration of simulated 3D objects by moving a pen-like input device on a small articulated arm 4, have been to be admired and tried out at technology fairs or when inspecting interaction research laboratories since the 1990s. Applications on the mass market are still pending. Game controllers with so-called rumble technology have been available since the end of the 1990s, thanks to 1 Hartmut Gieselmann, Tried: Ultrahaptics enables haptic feedback via ultrasound, in: heise online,, URL: message / tried Ultrahaptics enables haptic feedback via ultrasound html []. 2 New Macbook Pro: First testers enthusiastic about touch bar, in: derstandard.at,, URL: Macbook Pro First testers enthusiastic about touch bar []. 3 Exoskeleton glove makes virtual objects tangible, in: Futurezone,, URL: glove makes virtual objects tangible / []. 4 The haptic displays from the Phantom series, developed in the 1990s by Thomas Massie at MIT and sold by his company SensAble Technologies, are widespread in laboratories. See Thomas Massie / Kenneth Salisbury, The Phantom Haptic Interface: a Device for Probing Virtual Objects, Proceedings of the ASME Winter Annual Meeting, Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems, New York, NY: ASME Press 1994, S Massie is now a politician, the phantom is being further developed by Geomagic. See Geomagic Inc., Geomagic Phantom Premium Overview, 2016, URL: phantom premium / overview []. 1

8 vibration motors inside make selected game events also haptically perceptible, an intensification of the gaming experience, which at the same time could hardly be further removed from the haptic experience of everyday life. Regardless of how often the fingers brush the touchscreen during the day, they actually get nothing to feel there, apart from the smoothness of the screen, which is attractive in itself, but always the same. Once one has turned to the level of such direct, haptic interaction, one realizes: The touch is practically in everything. Without hands on the keyboard, computer mouse and power button, practically nothing happens, and that applies to the world of audiovisual media as well as to everyday devices from alarm clocks to washing machines, for light switches and doorbells, for stoves and horns. The first starting point of my investigation of the connection between the sense of touch and the media is the question raised: To what extent can the current boom in the sense of touch in the media be interpreted as a more recent, digital development and what does it take over from earlier discussions? The chapter Two conjunctures of the haptic is devoted to this complex. As a dilemma that has been smoldering for a long time, the fate of touch, understood as a searching, approaching movement, is sketched in scenarios of the use of keys. The key disciplines keying and turns it not just into a mere keystroke, but also links it to the sphere of the symbolic. This form of handling runs through all constellations of devices and media use from the early modern era to the present; I start my own investigation with the key monochord Conrad von Zaberns (15th century). A basic configuration of the sense of touch is carried out by the key as media configurations of the sense of touch are understood accordingly to the scenarios of media use to be examined or the viewing of media phenomena (which likewise never get along without hands). The aim of the work is to analyze the configurations of the sense of touch in the tension between hand and skin and with special consideration of manual haptic dispositions that already existed before media culture 2

9 in the narrower sense (i.e. the audio / visual (mass) media since the end of the 19th century) and continue to have an effect in this. The field of tension between hand and skin that is named with it arises on the one hand from a polarity on the part of the sense of touch itself. Your skin-enclosed hands stroke over skin 5, writes Michel Serres in The Five Senses about skin care of a naked woman in front of the mirror. Hand and skin cannot be separated from one another, but epistemologically they refer to different ways of experiencing and attitudes towards perception. I grasp, control and operate my skin with my hand, touches, suffers, is in contact and thus subjectives myself in a different way than manual intervention, which appears to be more active. Based on the logic of use of the object, the focus of my work is not on the skin and not on the caressing, but on the reaching hands and controlling fingers that handle designed, hand-held (media) devices and thus the display of media appearances on canvases, umbrellas Control screens under the conditions of the media configurations and reconfigurations of the sense of touch to be displayed. Chapters 3 to 5, which follow two conjunctures, are primarily located at the manually haptic pole of the investigation. The hand between material and symbol is dedicated to this as an essential organ of integration between the spheres of the material and the symbolic, based on the structure of both the hand and the symbolic systems on both sides. The extensive chapter Relationships between hand and device attempts to develop a taxonomy of manually haptic configurations based on various names for devices that are used or operated by hand, which will prove to be recurring and which should also allow future use of the results of this work, to conceptually characterize different usage scenarios. The names chosen for this are: Instrument, 5 Michel Serres, The five senses. A philosophy of mixtures and mixtures, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp 2012, p

10 Tool, automat, machine and medium as an umbrella term that should subsume all together, I use the term device. I want to show how each term implies very specific relationships between hand and device and equally specific power structures between people and technology. Permanently precise, monolithic distinctions are here because the terms descriptive, not prescriptive, are not intended: For example, we encounter the automaton both as an automatic device that is supplied from the outside and historically, especially by the hand, as well as (actual to supposed ) Imitation of life, which can only really achieve what it claims to be able to do through a hidden device, which is usually a manipulation. In this respect, on the one hand, subordinate description levels are proposed; on the other hand, it is also evident in the context of technological development that in some cases one and the same device can have both automaton and machine character, depending on the perspective, and that the computer, as a multimodal device, is able to switch between the functions of one Calculating machines, a tool and a medium to oscillate. A separate chapter, which continues the previous media debate, is dedicated to Marshall McLuhan's theories with tactile media, as this is particularly suitable for providing the transfer between hand, language and digitally networked media. Since the activity of the hand or hands is carried out in close cooperation with the eyes or visual perception, this relationship is deepened in the sixth chapter, The Hands and Seeing. In it, a selection of post-operative positions on seeing in the context of use are problematized: Based on the stuff or tool debate, this is initially Martin Heidegger's existential-philosophical presentation of circumspection, which is then confronted, among other things, with the question of seeing the situated agents of artificial intelligence research. This is followed by an investigation of Friedrich Kittler's theses on the blindness of machines from typing to calculating machine and, in turn, will lead to touchscreen 4

11, because a comparable structure of hand and sight, the visible and the hidden can be described here. A criticism of Kittler's handling of the sources that he draws on to argue for equating women with machines as typewriters who live in the bedroom or in the writing room cannot be avoided. Walter Benjamin's sketch of the utilitarian, tactile gaze is discussed in the context of an instructive study by Heidi Rae Cooley in order to arrive at an understanding of the perspectives in the era of hand-held gadgets. This is extended by considering current, mobile networked (er) scenarios; Cooley wrote her text in 2004, i.e. before the widespread availability of mobile internet connections and before the networked self-presentation economy of Web 2.0 and the social web. Accordingly, the production of selfies under the conditions of a manual screenic vision is discussed. With the chapter The skin in the media, the focus shifts from the manual haptic level to questions of the demarcation between self and world and the role of the skin as a contact and a surface for discussion. In this way, a further distinction is made between two dimensions within the epistemology of the skin. Firstly, it is interpreted as a protective and identity-creating boundary, the media manifestation of which can be discussed, among other things, on the basis of the practice of case modding, i.e. the modification of computer cases; In the case of media stagings such as the film, this can be observed in particular through the constant use of new examples of rectangular surfaces. The forms of interaction that can be used on the touchscreen represent a special case between usage, button-like and flat use. The film as skin has been theorized in the work of film scholars Laura U. Marks and Jennifer Barker in particular; Both, but especially Marks, refer to the Viennese art historian Alois Riegl, and as a result of this appropriation, Riegl's approach is repeatedly reduced to the short formula that the eye is an organ of the sense of touch. Since, in my opinion, there is a shortening here, which Riegl is not entirely unfair, but essential aspects of his theory 5

12 missed, I will go into this again, e.g. with the help of Antonia Lant's text on Haptical Cinema, and then try to show that and how well it can be applied to the analysis of graphical user interfaces, especially in computer games. The discussion of the theses of Marks and Barker is then devoted to the second epistemological sub-dimension of the skin as a surface for debate and a place of encounter with others. Here, skin is not just the canvas in the narrower sense, but encompasses the cinematographic event as a whole, including its technical conditions. Up to this point, the conceptual interpretation of haptic media will have primarily related to the levels of direct contact or to what appears through contact, including the possibility of haptic feedback on what appears in each case. In the last chapter I will literally understand haptic media and examine whether and how tactile perceptions can be recorded, processed and stored. The scheme is provided by the remote media addressing the eye and ear, which beyond the moment of the event bring back what has been seen and heard elsewhere or at other times. Transferring the haptic near sense in a corresponding way into a remote medium has not yet been successful. The reasons for this should first be clarified with the help of physiological and perceptual psychological positions. Following this, four more or less well-known visions of haptic media will be discussed, on the one hand as discourses about media, but also as a reflection of available perceptual knowledge about the sense of touch. This discussion, together with several threads of this work, ends and culminates with a consideration of Oswald Wiener's vision of the Bio Adapter (1969), which I will consider the only conceivable, and at the same time completely impossible, method for producing genuinely haptic media. 6th

13 2. Two conjunctions of the haptic The sense of touch occupies a prominent position in contemporary media culture.We stroke, swipe, paint with our fingers on the touchscreens of our gadgets, clothe their cases in covers with interesting textures, let us wake up to vibrating fitness bands and zoom in on the online catalogs of the clothing retailer down to the mesh level, to the fabric with the eye to feel. In the digitized cinema of recent years, we enjoyed Monster Sulley's finely textured, blue-purple fur (2001), 6 Merida's jumping locks (2012) 7 and the contrast between Mowgli's human skin and Baloo's shaggy fur in the live action / CGI remake of The Jungle Book (2016) 8. We control our game consoles with the help of Force Feedback 9 and kinetically sensitive game controllers 10 or with our whole body, which then becomes the controller itself 11. We link, like, weave, create networks of relationships 6 Monsters, Inc. (USA 2001), directed by Peter Docter / David Silverman / Lee Unkrich. 7 Brave (USA 2012), directed by Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman. 8 The Jungle Book (UK / USA 2016), directed by Jon Favreau. 9 In principle, force feedback refers to any type of feedback on the effects of forces from the environment and is considered an important parameter in sports science movement research for controlling and regulating movements (Frank Schiebl, Force Feedback with special consideration of internal models, Frankfurt am Main et al. : Peter Lang 2008, p. 13.). The ski boot, for example, not only protects and transfers the movements of the skier to the ski, it should also transfer forces that act on the ski boot to the skier. The ski boot thus has an important, even central, interface function (ibid., P. 12). Force feedback in the game area transmits the forces of a motor inside e.g. Game controllers, joysticks or gaming steering wheels to the users in order to make game events (e.g. collisions of the avatar with other simulated objects) tangible, i.e. to represent them through simultaneous, technically evoked haptic events. The Wii console including Wii Remote Controller (Nintendo, from 2006), with which movement sequences from the repertoire of sports such as tennis and bowling can be implemented, achieved its first significant market successes. To do this, the controller is gripped and moved by hand, success or failure can be read from the synchronously appearing on-screen events. 11 With 3D movement sensors, body movements in space (distinguishable mainly as movements of the head, torso, arms and legs) can be recorded and used as input for video / computer games; Examples are consoles Kinect (Microsoft / Xbox, from 2010) and PlayStation Move (Sony, from 2010). You are the controller was 7

14 on the social web. Where does this omnipresence of the haptic tactile come from in the media and, it seems, especially in the digital? What is driving the boom in manual metaphors? Has this tendency, together with the advent of digital technology in private and household use, made its way into every hand or is it a trend that has been developing for a long time? In order to be able to answer this question, I present both lines of argument in the following, in order to relate them to each other and thus to work out some basic problems of the subject of hand, skin, haptic media The boom of the haptic in digital culture The first, specifically digital argument in particular speaks in favor of the first, specifically digital argument Chronology of the media technology developments of the last seventy years, with intensification phases from the end of the 1970s (development of personal computers) and from the mid-2000s (implementation of touchscreens on the mass market). This overall phase can be described as a breakthrough of the tactile haptic in digital media not only on the basis of the obvious evidence such as operation through touch, gestures and movement, but also on the basis of the interplay of programmability and personalization, mobilization and connectivity. The origins of this close, manual as well as physical, haptic and tactile reference by computer users to their devices are shown on the basis of five aspects of development that were driven forward with different intensities at different times (but are not to be understood as separate chronological sequences). according to the 2010/2011 slogan of the Xbox advertising campaigns; Microsoft News Center, Kinect Ads: You Are the Controller,, URL: / 2010/10/21 / kinect ads you are the controller / []. 8th

15 The era of mainframes The early phase of digital computers was still an era of mainframes (1940 to 1960s), which were not only operated in a division of labor, but also in different locations and with the help of different end devices: from the programmer's desk to the workstation of the programmer Code typist, where the program was recorded on magnetic tapes, to the engineers' control desk via the printer, which could print out intermediate results for checking cable connections even far away, to the punch card machine, which fixed the calculated data on paper. 12 Most likely it was operators, i.e. the operators and supervisors at the control panel of the mainframe computer, who were in a similar continuous contact situation with the device as it was to establish itself later. Lyle R. Johnson, a later IBM researcher who was entrusted with the supervision of a UNIVAC II installation in the Pentagon as part of his military service from 1951 to 1952, described a night shift in the operator function as follows: By chance, on a graveyard shift during the inversion, I sat in for a sick engineer / operator. Fortunately, the night passed with only one minor corrective incident. I recall the steady whoosh of air through the big cabinet, the sounds of tapes whirring and reversing direction, and the reassuring beating, beeping, and blatting of the Univac s audio attachment. At the time, the journalistic equivalent of the Univac was that of hundreds of obedient clerks at desk calculators; that night, I enjoyed the role of imaginary task master. 13 The UNIVAC computer installation shown here appears to have a peculiar, breathing, throbbing life of its own, while Johnson monitored her work. It is noteworthy that Johnson titled his mainframe structure and design varied with installation and manufacturer. The division of labor reported above is based on the representation in the advertising film Remington Rand presents the Univac (USA, ca, director: Seymour Zweibel) by the Remington Rand Corporation. The job titles used in this film are: programmer, Unitypist, operator; the devices are: Unityper, Uniservo, supervisory control unit, Uniprinter, high speed printer, magnetic tape to card converter. 13 Lyle R. Johnson, Coming to Grips with Univac, in: IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 28, 2 /, S, here: p

16 Report in the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing with Coming to Grips with Univac; a description that can certainly be understood as a comment on the physical challenges of the installation: It took just three months, as Johnson reported elsewhere, to dismantle in the factory of the manufacturer Eckert Mauchly / Remington Rand in Philadelphia and to rebuild in the Pentagon in Washington 14. The construction not only required technical knowledge regarding the device structure itself, but also the planning of room floor plans, including storage and office space, training and shift planning of the engineering staff, tools, test equipment, technical aids, spare parts as well as the planning of lighting and Ventilation situation. The texts taken from Johnson's graphics (see Figure 1; (1952 left, 2006 right) explain the floor plan of the UNIVAC II system in the Pentagon the main entrance, he listened as a stepping in engineer in the midst of all devices to the rustling and throbbing at the (supervisory) control (unit). Fig. 1: Johnson's sketches of the floor plan of the UNIVAC II laboratory in the Pentagon, published every 50 years : left, Lyle R. Johnson, Installation of a Large Electronic Computer, Proceedings of the 1952 ACM National Meeting Toronto, ACM Press 1952, S, here: p. 80; right, ders., Coming to Grips with Univac, in: IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, 28, 2 /, S, here: S Cf. Lyle R. Johnson, Installation of a Large Electronic Computer, Proceedings of the 1952 ACM National Meeting Toronto, ACM Press 1952, S, URL: acm. org / citation.cfm? doid = [], here's

17 In addition to this floor plan, an advertising film made around 1950/1951 by the manufacturer Remington Rand provides further information about the on-site situation of the operators. Figure 2 (left) shows an operator at the supervisory control unit who, according to the assembly logic, has just switched on the device that is described in the voice over as a nervous system: Now let's see the nerve center of the UNIVAC system, the supervisory control unit. It is available to give the operator a continuous picture of UNIVAC's internal operation at any point in the solution of a problem. It allows him to check for inconsistencies, found by the system. If there are any, it tells him where they originate. 15 The next but one setting (see Figure 2, right) shows the operator's hands in action after an intermediate cut of a long shot of the device without human operators, presumably while troubleshooting. The Voice Over Commentary: When minor corrections are needed, that is additions to the data or alternate procedures to be followed, the supervisory control offers a direct means of manual communication with the central computer. 16 For the context of my investigations, it should be emphasized that manual communication is explicitly mentioned here, i.e. the hand functions as an interface and means of communication between humans and devices. Fig. 2: Stills from Remington Rand presents the UNIVAC (USA, approx. 1951/1952, director: Seymour Zweibel, running time approx. 17 minutes), each from approx. 10:30 and 10 minutes: Voice over commentary in: Remington Rand presents the UNIVAC (USA, approx. 1951/1952, director: Seymour Zweibel, running time approx. 17 minutes, from approx. 10:30 a.m.). 16 Ibid., From about the minute 10:55. 11

18 From today's perspective, however, it should be noted that the operator was by no means able to change data and check it in real time on any display, as is possible with today's memory and system architectures. The following description by Herman Lukoff, who is considered a computer pioneer and who helped develop UNIVAC at Eckert Mauchly / Remington Rand, gives an idea of ​​what laborious, manual and cognitively demanding type of corrections it was: Tape read errors were a weak link in the system that contributed greatly to lost time. The UNIVAC I computer was designed so that it came to a halt when a tape read error occurred. The inexperienced operator rewound all tapes and started the run over again. A more experienced operator was able to try a reread via a cumbersome manipulation of the supervisory control switches. He had to insert the read backward instruction in binary coded decimal form into the switches, execute the instruction, and then insert a read forward instruction in the same manner. If the latter operation was successful, he could then return to continuous operation. 17 The manual effort that had to be carried out in this era was therefore considerable and still a long way from the half-conscious typing that skilled eight- to ten-finger typists are now able to do on their laptops with high computing power. The discovery of the mainframe interfaces At that time, computing machines were primarily considered to be calculating machines.It was only in the context of a cybernetic concept that computers were also explicitly required to serve as a communicative interface in the human-machine system18 of the handled objects of the pre-cybernetic era. 17 Herman Lukoff, From Dits to Bits. A Personal History of the Electronic Computer, Portland, OR: Robotics Press 1979, S. Cf. Michael Friedewald, The Computer as Tool and Medium. The intellectual and technical roots of the personal computer, Berlin: Verlag für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften und der Technik 1999, p

19 Douglas Engelbart, the chief inventor of the computer mouse at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), argued in the well-known project report Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework (October 1962) in a corresponding, re-evaluating way: Where a complex machine represents the principal artifact with which a human being cooperates, the term man machine interface has been used for some years to represent the boundary across which energy is exchanged between the two domains. However, the man artifact interface has existed for centuries, ever since humans began using artifacts and executing composite processes. 19 The awareness of the interface, which makes the computer appear not only as a calculating machine, but also as an artifact to be handled, can also be used to establish a new awareness of the level of the tactile or manual (although this, as will be discussed later is, in some later, media-scientific discourses over and over again by a certain preference for the symbolic). How literally this is to be understood in the case of Engelbart's research team is illustrated by their brick pencil experiment 20, in which a pencil was attached to a brick. In order to write with the pen, the whole brick had to be grasped. The writing results were correspondingly changed or less efficient (more bumpy, slower, only possible with larger lettering) (see Figure 3). On the way of such de-augmentation on the manual level, attempts were made to obtain hints as to which factors could contribute to augmentation, i.e. to increasing the understanding. 19 Douglas C. Engelbart, Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, Menlo Park, CA: Stanford Research Institute 1962, S ibid., P

20 Fig. 3: Variations of the typeface in Engelbart's brick pencil experiment. Source: Douglas C. Engelbart, Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework, Menlo Park, CA: Stanford Research Institute October 1962, S From Time Sharing to Personal Media The 1960s and 1970s were initially shaped by the then innovative model of the Time sharing, in which several users share the computing power of a powerful computer by accessing it in parallel via their own access stations, so-called terminals. If one is not aware of the underlying computing architecture, the usage situation (see Figure 4) can appear from today's perspective to be identical to that of the personal computer. However, 14

21, these terminals could only be used temporarily and were neither owned by the users, nor did they have the rights to e.g. Change settings on the computer itself. The roles of user and operator (in the sense of operator), which largely coincided in the mainframe phase (and often also included the function of programmer), were now separated 21. Fig. 4: For a description of the image, see image source: Dave Winer, Computer User Around 1978 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Working at a Unix Terminal, 2009, URL: Madison_1978.jpeg [], License CC BY SA 2.0. As Michael Friedewald reports, the attitude of computer users towards the device also changed in the time sharing era. The change was reflected in the increasing number of available games; Friedewald explains this against the background of further computer development: While such games were completely nonsensical from the point of view of the most economical computer use possible, they were often used to demonstrate the scope of performance of time sharing systems and developed into a preferred field of activity of the second generation of hackers who played an important role in the development of so-called home computers. Cf. Friedewald 1999, S Ibid., S

22 At the same time, the job descriptions continued to develop in such a way that working on the computer was now less able to code programs and more mastered the computer as a user, implied 23. Time sharing was followed by the paradigm shift to personal computing: while time sharing provided that several users had the computing power of a powerful computer, suggested the complementary vision of Allen Kays and Adele Goldberg (1977) that individual users should be equipped with powerful personal computers. These should be so small and portable that you would be able to take all your knowledge (and the possibility of further processing it) with you wherever you go; so powerful that the result of every interaction would be immediately visible or audible and of such high media quality that the media phenomena produced by the computer would keep up with or even surpass human everyday perception 24. Kay and Goldberg (1977) named theirs Personal Dynamic Media approach, and the current availability of portable personal devices for the average knowledge worker (or those in school and training) confirm that this approach has prevailed. 23 Cf. ibid., S Cf. Allen Kay / Adele Goldberg, Personal Dynamic Media, in: Computer, 10, 3 /, S, here: S: Imagine having your own self contained knowledge manipulator in a portable package the size and shape of an ordinary notebook.Suppose it had enough power to outrace your senses of sight and hearing, enough capacity to store for later retrieval thousands of page equivalents of reference materials, poems, letters, recipes, records, drawings, animations, musical scores, waveforms, dynamic simulations, and anything else you would like to remember and change. We envision a device as small and portable as possible which could both take in and give out information in quantities approaching that of human sensory systems. Visual output should be, at the least, of higher quality than what can be obtained from newsprint. Audio output should adhere to similar high fidelity standards. There should be no discernible pause between cause and effect. One of the metaphors we used when designing such a system was that of a musical instrument, such as a flute, which is owned by its user and responds instantly and consistently to its owner s wishes. Imagine the absurdity of a one second delay between blowing a note and hearing it! 16

23 The editors of the extensive The New Media Reader text collection, which also reissued this vision, comment accordingly: The imagination and boldness of the mid 1970s Dynabook vision and the accuracy with which [Kay and Goldberg foretold] what notebook computing has become is striking. [] Almost all the specific ideas for the uses of notebook computing developed in the group that Kay directed at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) proved to be worthwhile. 25 Fig. 5: Graphic control elements in the image processing program of the Dynabook. Image source: Allen Kay / Adele Goldberg, Personal Dynamic Media, in: Computer, 10, 3 /, S, here: p. 35 The use of different, overlapping windows, which can be moved with the computer mouse like superimposed material layers, counted also to the innovations of the Dynabook as a prototype implementation of Personal Dynamic Media; Figure 5 shows an application in which further, manually haptic metaphors were used: A brush can be grabbed with the mouse, dipped into a paint pot, and then the halftone can be swabbed on as a function of the size, shape, and velocity of the brush. The last pair of pictures shows a heart / peace symbol shaped brush used to give the effect of painting wallpaper Editors comment in: Noah Wardrip Fruin / Nick Montfort (Eds.), The New Media Reader, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press 2003, S Kay / Goldberg 1977, p

24 Grasp, immerse, dab on, even if the execution with the hand on the computer mouse allows little variation in the grip position, the description of the ideators reveals the haptic ideas with which these forms of interaction were developed. With the arrival of the personal (desktop) computer in offices, private households and educational institutions 27 in the 1980s, the device and users were already related to one another in a multitude of activities. With eyes on the screen, hands resting in direct contact with the keyboard, mouse, joystick, etc., the cognitive entanglement with the device could now be maintained for hours. In the 1980s, the psychologist Sherry Turkle observed how this then new culture of personal devices was also experienced as a form of haptic participation and close manual contact with the manipulated characters.In the following I quote a passage from her study The Second Self, in which she gives the description of the interaction with a programmable calculator by one of her interviewees: [Barry, technical assistant:] I ll pick up the calculator, and if I don t know how to do a problem I ll play with the calculator a few minutes or a few hours and figure it out. It s not so much that the calculator does a particular calculation, but you do so many, have so much contact with the numbers and the results and how it all comes out, that you start to see things differently. The numbers are in your fingers. The calculator and the computer made numbers seem concrete. They put mathematics in my hands and I m good with my hands. 28 Today, since every smartphone has a calculator app, such a pocket calculator may appear comparatively unspectacular and sensually sparse.Early descriptions of the interaction experienced at that time, when the converging devices were not yet combined in one, are TIME Magazines Machine of the Year 1982 (instead of Man of the Year), in: Otto Friedrich, The Computer Moves In. By the Millions, It Is Beeping Its Way into Offices, Schools and Homes, in: TIME, 121, 1 /, S Sherry Turkle, The Second Self: Computers and the Human Spirit (20th Anniversary Edition), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press 2005, S first published

25 are so valuable because they can show the handling of the individual, later competing functions for each one individually. Not only in Barry's, but also in the manners of other interviewees, Turkle discovered a manual haptic approach to the programmable world: Doris s manipulations of the operating system, like Barry s manipulations of mathematics in his fingers, like Anne s painterly manipulations of the sprites in the Logo system, offer a tactile, soft access to a world of hard rules The touchscreen touch what appears Haptic participation as a direct skin device Contact experienced an even more literal turn in the 1990s with the development of touch-sensitive screens, which were initially part of kiosk systems, e.g. Establish in museums 30. Here, touching the device is also combined with the (apparently) immediate touch of what appears on the screen (instead of being conveyed via keyboard or computer mouse): Direct Touch promises direct access to the objects on the screen 31. On the one hand the touchscreen replaces the rigid link between physical keys and assigned functions with the flexibility of a screen that can be played on, on which keys (or other graphic interface elements) can be visually displayed if required. On the other hand, the touchscreen opens up the possibility of including gestures, swiping and painting movements on the screen, i.e. input forms that are perceived as natural, 32 which are not structured by a discrete system of symbols. Annette Noschka Roos, The use of screen information systems in museums, in: Kirsten Fast (Hrsg.), Handbuch der Museumspädagogischen Approätze, Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien 1995, S This is the name of the industry: Timo Kaerlein, Aporias of the Touchscreen. On the Promises and Perils of a Ubiquitous Technology, in: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, 1, 2/2012, S, here: S The natural attribute for NUIs (Natural User Interface), which also includes touchscreens, is understood by interaction designers as a description of the experience of the user, see: In the natural user interface, natural refers to the user's behavior and feeling during the experience rather than the interface being the product of 19

26, as is the case with alphabetic keyboards, number pads, but also with binary on / off buttons. This interaction method gained acceptance on the consumer electronics mass market in mid-2007 with the first Apple iphone: Instead of a keyboard, it had a multi-touch interface that could process several points of contact at the same time and, with the help of electronic sensors, also detect how the device was held and moved 33. This enabled the sense of touch to be explicitly included in the operation as a sense of movement. How extensively this sensor constellation could be used was only to become apparent in the course of the development of the software market: In this case, Apple Inc. decided not to want to develop all the software itself, but instead made a so-called software developer kit available from March 2008 This made it possible for third parties to develop mobile applications (apps) themselves and to sell them via the company's app store (following a release process controlled by Apple). 34 An example of an app that was created in this way, which required both touch and movement, was the Lightsaber app released by LucasArts in autumn 2008, which could be downloaded free of charge and was intended as an advertising measure for the action adventure game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. After selecting a character or a color, the smartphone could be swung like a sword handle (see Figure 6). The app produced noises synchronized with the movement, which sounded like the whirring and clattering of an activated, curved lightsaber, a sound familiar to the inclined Star Wars audience. some organic process. Daniel Wigdor / Dennis Wixon, Brave NUI World. Designing Natural User Interfaces for Touch and Gesture, Burlington, MA: Morgan Kaufmann 2011, S Apple Inc., Apple Reinvents the Phone with iphone. Apple Press Info Macworld San Francisco,, URL: Reinvents the Phone with iphone.html []. 34 Apple Inc., Apple Announces iphone 2.0 software beta. Includes SDK & Built in Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync,, URL: 03/06 Apple Announces iphone 2 0 Software Beta.html []. 20th

27 Fig. 6: Screenshots from a video review of the iphone app Lightsaber, (LucasArts, September 2008). Image source: YouTube User AppStoreReviewer, Lightsaber Unleashed iphone App Review,, URL: []. Creating this form of production IT infrastructures and making these third parties available through open interfaces (APIs, ie application programming interfaces) is one of the hallmarks of Web 2.0 (ie the re-positioning of the World Wide Web after the New Economy Bubble has burst) ), which relied on content created by users, the (re) combination of data sources and flexibly generated instead of static websites 35. Instead of controlling all production units centrally, the conditions of production are made technically and legally transparent so that collaboration with Others are able to use a method of production that is also reminiscent of the decentralized, open-ended form of automation that Marshall McLuhan developed in 1964 with the flexibility of 35 Cf. San Murugesan, Understanding Web 2.0, in: IT Professional. To IEEE Journal, 9, 4 /, S, here: S

28 grasping hand compared 36 (and which will be discussed in more detail at a later point in this work) weaving and linking the hapticity of the networks mobility and connectivity, i.e. mobility of the user during use as well as connectivity in the sense of a connection to the Internet at potential Every place of use in the world (whereby the global promise is always opposed to local exclusions, especially outside the service society of western capitalism) finally complete the context of the haptically tactile breakthrough or are already included in the last-mentioned scenarios, but not yet discussed. The success of the smartphone can only be partially attributed to the multi-touch functionality, and also to the possibilities of mobile communication and the use of products from the network economy, such as apps (see above). Compared to mobile Internet use, mobile telephony has now reached its zenith: the volume of mobile Internet data services in Austria rose by 76 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year, while the number of minutes used by mobile telephony stagnated or even fell slightly from 21.07 billion to 21.03 billion . 37 Considering interaction via mobile devices in the context of the sense of touch is not only obvious because of the caressing fingers on the touchscreen (it would be even more trivial to see this tactility as justified in the fact that digital refers to digitus, the finger). The ubiquitous access to content, information and interactions with people in other places, which has become possible in this way, also offers the opportunity to literally weave yourself into a meaningful network. Die Metaphern, die Mitgestalter_innen and 36 Cf. Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, Cambridge, MA / London: MIT Press 1994, p. 356: The automatic machine may work in a specialist way, but it is not limited to one line. As with our hands and fingers that are capable of many tasks, the automatic unit incorporates a power of adaptation that was quite lacking in the pre electric and mechanical stage of technology. As anything becomes more complex, it becomes less specialized. 37 N.N., Austrians call less and surf more, in: futurezone, 2016, URL: life / Austrians call less and surf more / []. 22nd

Using 29 theorists in the development phase of the digitally networked culture to characterize it, repeatedly testify to such a manual haptic understanding. Tim Berners Lee, ideator of the architecture of the World Wide Web, described the process of networked, collective knowledge generation to which the project was dedicated as Weaving the Web (first published in 1999). Weaving it should express that the web should not be understood and produced as a product of hierarchical control, but rather as an expression of the texture of life and a collective effort: Although I knew I would be forced to introduce some structure, I wanted the [World Wide Web] consortium to operate in a way that reflected a Weblike existence. The Web would not be an isolated tool used by people in their lives, or even a mirror of real life; it would be part of the very fabric of the web of life we ​​all help weave. 38 With some structure on the one hand and fabric of life on the other, Berners Lee's description can be related to Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's juxtaposition of notched and smooth, weaving and felting, whereby weaving with its right-angled organization of warp and weft for the Structure work of the World Wide Web Consortium would come to an end 39. The fabric of life, on the other hand, would correspond more to the felt described by Deleuze and Guattari as anti-fabric 40: The micro-fibers are intertwined with one another. The material so involved is by no means homogeneous; and yet it is smooth and opposed, point by point, to the space of the tissue. [] it is theoretically infinite, open and unlimited in all directions; it has no front or back and also no center; it connects 38 Tim Berners Lee / Mark Fischetti, Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by Its Inventor, New York: Harper Business 2000, p. 91. Mark Fischetti is an American journalist, the Berners Assisted Lee in writing. 39 Cf. Gilles Deleuze / Félix Guattari, Tausend Plateaus, Berlin: Merve 1992, p. 658: In principle, a fabric has a certain number of properties that can be used to define it as a notched space. First of all, it is formed by two parallel elements: in the simplest case, one is vertical and the other is horizontal, and both are intertwined, they intersect and cross each other at right angles. 40 Ibid., P

30 nothing fixed and movable, but rather spreads out a continuous variation. 41 In Deleuze and Guattari's work, fabric and felt are contradicting ways of organization, but not separated from one another like the North and South Poles. Rather, they can turn into one another, the smooth space can basically be notched, which can be observed, for example, in the relationship between the fabric-like (large) city, which is itself the indentation force, and the temporary slums that spread in all directions.42 The same applies to that World Wide Web, which Berners Lee deliberately did not want to express in a purely technical way: The Web is more a social creation than a technical one. I designed it for a social effect to help people work together and not as a technical toy. The ultimate goal of the Web is to support and improve our weblike existence in the world. 43 Metaphors of hapticity, tactility or the manual (any necessary differentiations will be made in the course of this work) are not found in the description of an infrastructure that is so explicitly understood as woven like the World Wide Web: Networking becomes a metaphor and for the Model of knowledge organization through technology. Under the haptic slogan Information at Your Fingertips 2005, Bill Gates presented his vision of a networked everyday life at the Comdex electronics fair (Las Vegas,) at the end of 1994: 44 In a mixture 41 Ibid. 42 Cf. ibid., P. 667: But just like with the sea, it is the smooth space that can be fundamentally notched, whereby the city is the notching force that returns the smooth space everywhere, on the ground and in the other elements , reintroduces it outside of itself, but also inside. So smooth spaces emanate from the city that are no longer just those of global organizations, but that of a counter-attack that combines the smooth and the perforated and turns back against the city: huge short-lived slums, nomads and cave dwellers, metal and scraps of cloth, Patchwork that is no longer even interesting for scoring money, work, or housing. 43 Berners Lee / Fischetti 2000, S Bill Gates, Information at Your Fingertips 2005, Keynote on Comdex (Computer Dealers Exhibition) 1995 (), Las Vegas Cf. also Paul McFedries, 24

31 from a lecture and narrative short film in which art smuggling is uncovered with the help of communication and information technology, he presented media use scenarios that were not yet common in 2005, but were largely commonplace for a further decade: touchscreens, tablet PCs, mobile real-time video chat, television on Demand, online access to the holdings of libraries and museums, digital picture frames, mobile payment systems, telediagnostic doctors: everyone is networked or potentially networkable with everyone at any time, and where information is needed, it is made directly and interactively accessible 45 : just information at your fingertips. Derrick de Kerckhove, who, as director of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto, continues its tradition of thinking, commented on the overarching networking in 1995 in The Skin of Culture as follows: Electricity surrounds the globe in a single mesh. Media weave one single tactile blanket of electrostatic activity around the planet. 46 So much for the discursive clues that allow the phenomena and techniques of digital culture to be interpreted as a breakthrough of the tactile tactile that is taking place on several fronts. But the earlier approach to a basic dilemma of the tactile, which manifested itself in the early modern age, is just as possible, as will now be shown. Information at Your Fingertips (Bill Gates At COMDEX1994), in: IEEE Spectrum: Technology, Engineering, and Science News,, URL: computing / software / information at your fingertips []. 45 As an interactivity gimmick, Gates presented an alternative ending to the film after the first disappointed: Now, wait a second, what kind of ending was that, I mean I think in the future with something like this you ought to be able to choose the ending . I ought to be able to take my little wallet PC here and say that I d really like to see the alternate ending. (Gates 1994; transcribed via: YouTube User Alan Zisman, The Road Ahead Bill Gates Comdex Keynote 1995,, URL: com / watch? V = o0o0xjpjvfc [] (from minute 48:40). 46 Derrick de Kerckhove, The Skin of Culture Investigating The New Electronic Reality, London: Kogan Page 1995, p

32 2.2. Taste / keys as a basic dilemma of media culture Instead of drafting an overarching chronology of theories, media techniques and practices from the early modern era to the present, we aim to work towards and examine a scenario that expresses a basic dilemma of the haptic in the media : the fact that in the act of touching the media, the effect of this touch immediately superimposes the perception of this touch, so that touching here appears to be essentially reduced to triggering or actuating. What characterizes the mere triggering is that the quality of the touch does not matter: if I strike a guitar string gently or hard, the resulting sound will also vary. But whether I press the f key that I have just pressed as an author, finely or firmly, does not matter in the result (but I can combine the letter keys with the shift key, and THEN WHAT I WRITE WILL NO LONGER BE FINE AND GENTLE APPEAR regardless of how gently I really pressed the buttons). The key transforms the qualities of touch and translates it into a yes (pressed firmly enough) or no (not pressed firmly enough). In this sense, it no longer stands for keys in its everyday meaning than the execution of cautiously feeling [n], Seeking movements 47. Why and in what context this transformation, which today seems so banal and self-evident, was initially used, is the subject of the subsequent investigations. A number of other device usage scenarios and techniques will be discussed later. On the following pages, however, the focus is primarily on the use of the key, which allows you to draw a line from the current media presence to the early modern era and back again. 47 Cf. the partial definition of tasten according to duden.de: 1. a. (especially with outstretched hands) perform carefully feeling, searching movements in order to find contact with something; b. groping for something; c. perceiving by feeling, ascertaining 2. moving somewhere by feeling []. 26

33 tension. The investigation begins with an examination of the status of the key in the digitally networked present. Key and touch screen At first glance, it seemed as if the key had become obsolete with the introduction of the touch screen. The media historical anecdote wants Steve Ballmer to mock the keyboardless iphone in his role as Microsoft CEO in 2007: $ 500 dollars? Fully subsidized? With a plan? I said, that is the most expensive phone in the world. And it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good e mail machine. 48 In the next three years the Apple iphone was to develop into a sensational bestseller, and Ballmer had to take ridicule again and again for his misjudgment, even though he was far from alone with his opinion: We predict the iphone will bomb, it would be a failure, the future columnist of the tech industry magazine TechCrunch predicted, partly because of this keyboard: Here s what we re predicting will go wrong with the iphone, and a little about what may go right. [...] That Keyboard: That virtual keyboard will be about as useful for tapping out s and text messages as a rotary phone Aut.]. Don t be surprised if a sizable contingent of iphone buyers express some remorse at ditching their BlackBerry when they spend an extra hour each day pumping out s on the road Steve Ballmer on January 10, 2007 one day after Steve Jobs presented the iphone on a TV Interview on CNBC Business News. Quote n .: Charles Arthur, Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet, London / Philadelphia: Kogan Page 2014, S The Futurist: We Predict the iphone Will Bomb,, URL: social.techcrunch.com / 2007/06/07 / the futurist we predict the iphone will bomb / []. 27

34 The columnist was wrong. From a peak in the first quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2016, the Blackberry market share fell from 20.1% to 0.1%, 50 while the number of smartphone sales in total and worldwide during this time from 172.38 million (2009) to 1 billion , 495.36 million rose. 51 However, as a second look quickly shows, the buttons have never been completely superfluous either on the iphone or on other smartphones. At least the on / off button remains essential for touchscreen devices; many have additional home buttons that allow you to return what is happening on the screen to a navigational original state. The combined pressure of two physical buttons (usually On / Off and Home) makes it possible to take a screenshot of what is happening on the screen, i.e. to refer to it from a higher-level observer position supported by media technology. There are also controls that should allow you to make changes regardless of what is happening on the screen; e.g. Polar switches to regulate the volume (relevant, among other things, when a touchscreen device is not used visually, e.g. as an audio player). In other words: the key has neither been overcome nor is it just an optional accessory for more haptic types of users. It remains fundamental for the extensive use of current touchscreen devices and is sometimes necessary to compensate for problems in their use or to fix if the smartphone has hung up, for example, you keep the on / off button pressed to restart it. The modern button In the context of his study on Marshall McLuhan's concept of digitality as tactility, Till Heilmann fundamentally classified the keystroke: 50 Cf. Global Smartphone OS Market Share Held by RIM (Blackberry) from 2007 to 2016, by Quarter, in: Statista.com, URL: share held by rim smartphones / []. 51 Number of Smartphones Sold to End Users Worldwide from 2007 to 2016 (In Million Units), in: Statista.com, URL: sales to end users since 2007 / []. 28

35 The gesture of the digital is the push of a button, the basic cultural technique of our time. 52 He links the emergence of the first modern key in history, arguing further in the context of McLuhan, to the condition (and the conditions) of electricity: the revolution of digitization and the rule of the key begins with the use of the Electricity: The first modern key in history is the Morse code key. In the hands of the radio operators, it digitized the alphabet, which was already digitally structured, for a new medium, thus paving the way for the digital computer codes of the 20th century. 53 Electricity accelerated signs, promoted global social synchronization and did not, however, bring countries and continents closer together out of an anthropological need, as Florian Sprenger noted in Praise of Touch: It is not a desire for closeness that drives the technical development of telegraphs but rather the small-scale work on synchronization processes that never result in real time, but at best on timeliness. 54 The touch that is to be praised here is not that of direct physical contact, but praise of the abolition of separation, the rearrangement of near and far, the touch of the button (which Sprenger does not speak about here) and the praise of touch and telegraphic proximity are connected. The argument that the Morse key is the first modern key is plausible, since it is linked to the globally contracting forces of electricity and the power of digital (in the sense of discrete) signs to understand everything, to be able to express everything. Sprenger: What the telegraph brings is in every language say 52 Till A. Heilmann, digitality as tactility. McLuhan, the computer and the key, in: Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft, 2, 2010, S, here: S Ibid. 54 Florian Sprenger, praise for touching. On the phantasmatic dimension of electricity and its media theories, in: Veronika Wieser / Christian Zolles / Catherine Feik / Martin Zolles / Leopold Schlöndorff (eds.), Occidental Apokalyptik: Kompendium zur Genealogie der Endzeit, Berlin: Akademie Verlag 2013, p, here: p

36 bar: His code is universal because everyone understands it and because everyone receives it. 55 (Here we see understanding, however, equated with being able to receive and represent). In addition, the criterion of electricity would make it possible to draw a clear line between the modern and all other keys, insofar as these actually represented a significant proportion, because, according to Heilmann: With the significant exception of some musical instruments such as the organ and piano, cultural artifacts had thousands of years No keys for years The key monochord of the early modern period Starting from a different perspective, however, I would like to suggest in the following to soften this limit again and to look at a further tendency based on a key from the early modern period, which, like that of electricity, extends to the present. The term taste in the German language in the 18th century was borrowed from Italian, initially referring to the handle bar on stringed instruments (il tasto), 57 the name of which in turn goes back to an intensivum of the Latin tāxāre (tangere), to touch 58. An early combination of string (s) and keys at precisely measured intervals (comparable to the fingerings of the guitar) characterizes the instrument now to be considered: the key monochord, in the 1950s reconstructed construction after Conrad von Zabern (* late 14th or early 15th century). Century, between 1476 and 1481), a 55 Ibid., S Heilmann 2010, S cf. Friedrich Kluge / Elmar Seebold / Max Bürgisser / Bernd Gregor, Etymological Dictionary of the German Language, 22nd edition, Berlin / Boston: De Gruyter 2015 , P. 722: Key f. Borrowed from Italian in the 18th century. tasto m., which initially referred to the handle bar on string instruments. This to it. feel and grip (see buttons). 58 See ibid .: keys swv. Mhd. To touch; about mndd. mndl. buttons borrowed from French button, which is like it. tastare goes back to a developed Latin verb * tastāre, an intensive to l. tāxāre touch, touch, which in turn is an iterative formation to l. tangere touch is. 30th

37 Music theorists, university teachers and reformer of Gregorian singing practice 59. As the name suggests, it was a single string, in fact, other monochords also had several strings, but not the Conrads. The initially buttonless monochord was already in use in antiquity as a measuring and teaching instrument in music lessons; His invention has been attributed to Pythagoras by some ancient authors 60. In the legend of Pythagoras in the smithy, for example, Nicomach of Gerasa reports how he developed the theory of harmony theory from the sound of hammers of different weights, which he then subdivided differently based on the sound of one String experimentally verified 61. In this tradition, the monochord was considered an instrument of mathematics and music theory. The key monochord Conrad von Zaberns, which he built in the later 15th century, was also intended to serve as an instrument for music theory and practical education. Karl Werner Gümpel reports from his examination of Conrad's writings that he believed that the shame of the general lack of education of the clergy and devastating abuses in choral singing could be removed by the constant use of the monochord in its function as a demonstration and control instrument []. 62 But which properties of the device should be able to enable it to do so? In order to understand this, the structure of the device and Conrad's modification should first be explained. With those taken over from antiquity and also 59 Cf. Karl Werner Gümpel, Conrad von Zabern, in: MGG Online. Music in the past and present, Laurenz Lütteken (Ed.), Kassel / Stuttgart / New York: Bärenreiter / J. B. Metzler / RILM 2016, URL: online.com/article?id=mgg03065&v=1.0 & rs = mgg03065 []. 60 Cf. Marianne Bröcker, Monochord, in: MGG Online. Music in the past and present, Laurenz Lütteken (Ed.), Kassel / Stuttgart / New York: Bärenreiter / J. B. Metzler / RILM 2016, URL: online.com/article?id=mgg15732&v=1.0&rs= mgg15732 []. 61 Cf. Christoph Riedweg, Pythagoras: Life, Doctrine, Aftermath. An introduction, Munich: C.H. Beck 2002, S Karl Werner Gümpel, The Keyboard Monochord Conrads von Zabern, in: Archive for Musicology, 12, 2/1955, S, here: S

38 buttonless monochords, which are still built today mainly for teaching and demonstration purposes, a string is stretched lengthwise either over a board or over an elongated resonance box, which is then shortened in order to produce specific tones. The ethnomusicologist Marianne Bröcker describes the process as follows: Judging by the sources, the strings can be shortened in different ways: Either the string is picked up with the fingers, pressed down with a stick, or there is a movable bridge under the string, with whose position changes can be divided in any desired point, ie the oscillating length of individual sections can be changed so that the exact representation of individual pitches is possible. A scale applied to the ceiling of the resonance box makes it easier to find the division points. 63 According to Bröcker, the monochord is primarily characterized by its function and only secondarily by its construction; Its main functions, however, are those of a measuring instrument (for tuning other musical instruments) and a teaching instrument (in music lessons), while its use as an independent musical instrument was limited.64 The illustration shows a replica of a monochord, in this case with three strings, whereby it must be taken into account that even a multi-string monochord does not have to be tuned harmoniously like a guitar or harp. The multiplication of the strings, however, offers the possibility of a direct comparison of sounds. A text written in the middle of the 15th century indicates the existence of a so-called monochordum, which had several equally tuned (keyless) strings 65. That of Conrad However, the device built by Zabern used neither a bridge nor a finger, 63 Bröcker Ibid. 65 Gümpel refers here to a treatise by Georgius Anselmi from 1434, presumably Musica. See Gümpel 1955, p

39 in order to subdivide its individual string, rather the function of the one movable bridge was performed by a plurality of bridges firmly attached to keys 66. Fig. 7: A monochord with three strings built at the Deutsches Museum in Munich. Image source: Helmut Klöckner / Dagmar Schnell, Das Monochord an assembly instruction, in: Website of the Deutsches Museum Munich, July 2008, URL: museum. de / fileadmin / content / 010_dm / 020_Ausstellungen / 080_Musikinstrument / 030_Workshops / 010_Monochord / Das_Monochord_ _Eine_Bauanleitung.pdf, p. 1, picture author: Hans Joachim Becker. The reason for this can be seen in the fact that the movable bridge was susceptible to shifts that would inevitably change the tone. In addition, the suspended string was wrapped with woolen threads on both sides to prevent the string sections from vibrating outside the desired interval.Both together should help avoid falsification of the sound, since otherwise, as Gümpel expresses Conrad's intention, the monochord would be robbed of its quality as a wonderful and infallible teacher, praised by Odo. With Odo was meant Odo von Cluny, the long suspected author of the Dialogus de musica, although the author is probably, as has now been said, 66 Hans Heinz Dräger, Monochord, in: The Music in Past and Present (MGG). Volume 9, Friedrich Blume (ed.), Kassel / Basel / London: Bärenreiter 1989, S, here: S Gümpel 1955, p

40 is taken, was not about the French abbot, but about an Italian monk who wrote the treatise around the year 1000 in the area of ​​Milan and is therefore also referred to as pseudo Odo 68. Pseudo Odo determines the function of the monochord in a way , which Conrad followed up around two hundred and fifty years later. The Dialogus de musica begins with a discussion of the role of the monochord in music, in the course of which its qualities as a musical literacy instrument are worked out (quotation from the English translation in Wright & Simms 2010): Disciple: What is music? Master: It is the science of singing truly and easy route to the perfection of singing. Disciple: How so? Master: Just as a master first shows to you on a slate all the letters, so a master musician demonstrates on a monochord all pitches involved in singing. 69 The master then explains the construction of the monochord and shows how the desired tones can be achieved with the help of the bridge and the precisely measured positions drawn on it. Trained in this way on the sound of the device, the singers should be able to transform letters into the intended melody at first sight. Their teacher, however, is not the master himself who explains this: [Master:] And thus boys learn a given antiphon more easily and better by the string than if they heard some man sing it. And trained in this manner for some months, they are able, when the monochord is removed, confidently to produce by sight alone [using only letters] a melody that they have never heard See the editor's comment on: Pseudo Odo of Cluny, Dialogue on Music, in: Craig M. Wright / Bryan R. Simms (Eds.), Music in Western Civilization. Media update. Source Readings, Media update, Instructor s ed., Boston: Schirmer Cengage Learning 2010, URL: assets / itow / 7273x_04a_itow_pseudo_odo.pdf, S Ibid. 70 Ibid., P

41 A topos follows from the discussion of man-machine relationships: Can such a device do something better, in this case: teach, than a person? Disciple: How is it possible that a string teaches better than a man? Master: A man, to the extent that he can or wishes, sings. A string, however, is artfully divided, across the above said letters, by the wisest men, and because the process will be diligently observed and considered, it cannot lie. Singing, which has the stigma of being merely human, is contrasted with the artful division into intervals made by the wisest men and transferred to the device: The string cannot lie. Since Conrad von Zabern increased the reliability of the device even more by eliminating the movable bridge and replacing it with keys, the key monochord was ultimately a device entirely in the sense of pseudo Odos. With a length of about sixty to seventy centimeters 71, Conrad's key monochord could also be easily transported and e.g. be taken to a choir rehearsal. 72 As an expression of his didactic orientation, the detailed labeling of the key surfaces is to be assessed (see Fig. 9), a characteristic according to Gümpel probably only peculiar to the monochord Conrads 73: With the help of those labeled keys Conrad wants to give beginners in the musica clearly guides them ante oculos the individual things necessary for a useful use of the instrument, help ut melius et utilius horum directione uti possint monochordo [so that they can use the monochord better and more profitably through their guidance, note d. Aut.]. At the same time, however, they serve as a lively illustration of the elementa musicae. According to Gümpel (1955, S), the inner length measurement on which the reconstruction is based is 644 mm, the outer length is 664 mm. 72 Assessment according to Georg Beckmann, Institute 7 (song, song, oratorio) of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (University of Art Graz). 73 Gümpel 1955, S ibid. Thanks to Rudolf Gruber for checking and improving the translation. 35