finding answers


for the seminar “pedagogical media theory” i had to make a multimedia snippet, for example a video.

the task was: “production of a small multimedia-snippet explaining a concept or a term [related to a discussed media theory].”
the video i made deals with the topic how answers to certain questions can be found. google is currently the most used tool (or interface) for this task. so it plays a main role in my video. it deals with my professor torsten meyer’s thesis that a medium is not only seen by its observer, but that the observer is also seen by the medium.

finding answers from roitsch on Vimeo.


torsten meyer uses jaques lacan’s “object petit a” to explain an interface: “according to lacan – in the middle, between subject and object (whose places are not clarified) originates a screen, an interface [inter-face], between their faces.
the image on the left shows you a schemata, which explaines the quote.

while i read torsten meyer’s interpretation of lacan i came to the idea to use this assumption for my video. i use the internet as a medium. i was also influenced by the following picture, an ironical future glimpse of google’s search engine in year 2084.fetch

randy siegel, author of the new york times, speculates on what the google search engine might look like in the far away future (it allows you to search not only the web, but friends, family, ex-spouses, tax records, music, your future, and other people’s conversations).

google is often critized for their observing methods. i used these critics to show how the search engine chooses the results for you, also in an ironical way.

you can see the way the results are found as a media theory assumption itself. the medium, e.g. the internet, could be seen as a space of possibilities. within my video the man in the google’s box office could be seen as the mechanism which chooses the possibilities and presents the results as search results on your screen, on the interface.
my ironical tribute of the future way of searching for answers was influenced by the vacationeers with “the googling” videos (the following video is no. 4 of 5, google sms). i wanted to show how far search engines can/might go.

i hope you like my video. i wanted to show that the medium internet leads the users to believe that it is always up to date, and always shows the truth. that’s why the internet is often the first choice to purchase information. often in school a task is to find information about topic x and many pupils (as teachers) believe, by googling some things and printing the results the task is settled. but the real work just begins: the information needs to be compared and you need to check the reliability. that’s complicated and hardly taught, mostly because adults even teachers are overchallenged themselves.


original text: “in der mitte, zwischen subjekt und objekt (deren plätze nicht geklärt sind) entsteht – lacan zufolge – somit ein »bild-schirm«, eine schnittstelle, ein inter-face, zwischen den gesichtern. meyer, torsten: interfaces, medien, bildung. paradigmen einer pädagogischen medientheorie, 2002, s.163

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finding answers