Michael Andreas

Michael Andreas, born 1979 in Bremen. Film and Media Studies in Bochum; 2006 Junior Fellow in Toronto with the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology. Work as a freelancer for numerous film festivals. Since 2007 PhD student, 2008-2014 research fellow and lecturer at the Institute for Media Studies, Ruhr University Bochum. Andreas works and teaches in the fields of media history, postcolonial studies and visual culture.



Remote sensing. History and aesthetics of UAV remote control

In the history of interactive electronic media, tactility has become crucial, despite the seemingly dominant senses of seeing and hearing in Western audiovisual culture. Tactility's importance has become even more evident with the various touch screens of ubiquitous portable, hand-held and wearable devices in the field of consumer electronics. In the history of popular electronic media, tactile interaction can be traced back to the early remote controls of television in the 1940s and 1950s. In the history of media theory, this early illusion of consumer's immediate control is reflected in one of their founding texts, Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media.

(This project is part of Stefan Rieger's project on "Haptic Rendering")

I am interested in the military history of remote control as a predecessor of these consumer electronics. During my stay at mecs, I will focus on the complex interfaces in simulated piloting / piloting from a distance. Being a tactile interface, I will understand remote control in its duality, as both steering (touching) and perceiving (being touched), in which both automation/programmability (gyroskope) and haptic simulation (servo feedback) play crucial roles when operating an aerial vehicle from afar.

Contributing to Stefan Rieger's project on "Haptic Rendering", I will trace the history of unmanned aerial reconnaissance to more contemporary notions of electronic intelligence, where technical developments such as high definition imaging in aerial reconnaissance meet political and economical paradigms such as PRISM, user behavior tracking in social networks or recommendations engine in electronic commerce. With their work on 'Liquid Surveillance' authors such as Zygmunt Bauman and David Lyon investigated the connections between "enemy" surveillance and the tracking of user and/or consumer behavior. How can the high resolutions of today's aerial reconnaissance be utilized? How can high data volumes of today's intelligences be processed? How is knowledge produced, can big data literally be grasped, how are masses of seemingly unrelated data rendered meaningful?