The Uptodateograph


Session Title:

  • Bio-Architectures Virtual Cities: The Revolutionary Human-Machine Community

Presentation Title:

  • The Uptodateograph



  • This presentation argues that around the end of the 19th century a shift occurred in the relationship between the subject and time. A culture of the immediate, the contemporary, the new developed. This consciousness was enmeshed in the development of modern mass media. Communication media promised a connection to the present, specifically to what Bejamin refers to ‘homogeneous empty time.’

    In the 1880s and 1890s major changes were made in the structure of the media, in photographic imagery, in advertising, in journalistic tone, in the speed of reporting. A satirical report in a British illustrated periodical The King’ in January, 1900, describes the Uptodateograph. The device comprises a telegraph which conveys animated pictures instantly. So compelling is the Uptodateograph that the entire population of the country lives in the theatre in which it is shown.

    The Uptodateograph web site attempts to recreate the Uptodateograph by using material from the media of the late 19th century. These Victorian images and fragmented texts are linked to web sites which form the contemporary Uptodateograph, highlighting their similarities and differences.