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Nostalgie / Nostalgia

Imaginierte Zeit-Räume in globalen Medienkulturen / Imagined Time-Spaces in Global Media Cultures


Edited By Sabine Sielke

Nostalgie boomt – als kulturelles Phänomen wie als Forschungsgegenstand. Was aber ist und wie wirkt Nostalgie? Dieses Buch zeigt auf, wie Nostalgie die Zeit anzuhalten sucht und unsere Wahrnehmung steuert. Eng verknüpft mit dem Aufkommen neuer Medientechnologien und Prozessen des Konsums schaffen Nostalgie und Retro imaginierte Zeit-Räume, die Vergangenes neu erfinden und sich Zukünftigem öffnen.

Nostalgia booms – both as cultural phenomenon and as research object. Yet what is nostalgia, and how does it work? This book shows how nostalgia aims at arresting time and channels our perception. Inextricably entwined with the rise of new media technologies and processes of consumption, nostalgia and retro create imagined time-spaces which reinvent the past and face the future.

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Futures Past and Futures Present: Nostalgia and the Temporality of Science Fiction in William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition (Hannes Bergthaller)


Hannes Bergthaller

Futures Past and Futures Present: Nostalgia and the Temporality of Science Fiction in William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition

Abstract: This essay discusses William Gibson’s novel Pattern Recognition (2003) in the context of contemporaneous debates about “SF nostalgia.” In the “footage,” a series of mysterious video clips, Gibson imagines a form of nostalgia which resists neoliberal capitalism. Nostalgia, the novel suggests, constitutes an essential component of a genre that involves the mining of cultural memory for alternative futures.

There is a passage in William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition (2003) which appears to capture in a nutshell the impulse driving his entire literary output during the first decade of the new millennium:

[We] have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which ‘now’ was of some greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents’ have insufficient ‘now’ to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile. […] We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment’s scenarios. Pattern recognition. (57)

Thus speaks Hubertus Bigend during a dinner with the protagonist of Pattern Recognition, Cayce Pollard. Founder and CEO of Blue Ant, an avant-garde advertisement agency whose activities he elsewhere describes as “brand vision transmission, trend forecasting, vendor management, youth market recon, strategic planning” (Zero...

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