Figures of resonance
Reading at the edges of attention
The introduction of new media has recurrently produced fierce arguments and fears about the future of attention, our ability to attend to meanings, objects, and ideas with care and persistence. In his essay, Koepnick revisits past and present debates about the relation of audiobooks and paper-based texts in order to argue for the need to move beyond worn concepts of aesthetic attentiveness. In Koepnick’s perspective, the mobile listening of audiobooks as much as the roaming passage through contemporary sound installations offer compelling test cases to rethink the very logic that makes us discuss (and often misunderstand) new technologies with old arguments. As it (re)introduces the category of resonance to cognitively centered understandings of reading, Koepnick’s essay explores the pleasures of half-attentive receptivity as a springboard to develop expanded attitudes about attention and aesthetic experience that meet the realities of a world saturated with information technology.
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