• Latent Cosmologies, Latent Media: The Material Temporality of Twelver Shi'i Media Practices in Mumbai

    Author(s):
    Patrick Eisenlohr (see profile)
    Date:
    2023
    Group(s):
    Anthropology, Religious Studies
    Subject(s):
    Space and time, Mass media and anthropology, Religion, Islam
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Latency, media anthropology, Shii Islam, Mumbai
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/gknj-7t36
    Abstract:
    In this essay, I argue that the temporal figure of latency is central for an understanding of the material temporalities of media. Latency as a tempo- ral figure is built into the material functioning of sound reproduction and audiovisual media. The discussion shows how latency underpins techni- cal processes of storing and reproducing sounds and moving images in a broad sense, while analyzing mediatic latency in Twelver Shi‘i media prac- tices in Mumbai. The focus on latency as a key temporality of media is also useful for thinking about Twelver Shi‘i ritual life and media practices because the temporal figure of latency features very prominently in Shi‘i eschatology and ritual life. Mediatic latency and the latency built into Shi‘i ritual life and cosmology interact in highly significant and productive ways, reinforcing a complex of piety and ritual commemoration that nowadays is thoroughly integrated with audiovisual media practices. The media prac- tices studied mobilize different affordances of contemporary media, such as creating contemporaneity with the non-contemporaneous and the invo- cation of linear progress for different religious ends.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    8 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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