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DHC Lecture with Dorothea von Mücke (Columbia University)

"Letters from Your Life": Old and New Media in Spike Jonze's her

In the recent futuristic film her, the protagonist Theodore falls in love with his intelligent os Semantha. Their romance ends when Semantha decides to leave Theodore in order to join other operating systems in new and ever faster evolving ways of learning and communicating post-verbally. It is quite remarkable that in spite of its concern with the new media of the imminent future, her also features such seemingly obsolete media as the handwritten letter and the printed book. This lecture will explore how these old media are invoked in order to reflect on the medial conditions of sentimental and romantic love today.