This paper situates the metaphor of ‘streaming’ in contrast to and connection with fluid analogies and metaphors that have been used to describe different models of media transmission. From the early use of aqueous vocabulary that shaped popular and scientific understandings of electricity transmission to the seminal studies of mass communication concerning the flows of information, images of fluidity have long shaped cultural and conceptual understandings of media. Building on the work of media archaeologist Erkki Huhtamo, I approach these metaphors as ‘recurrent topoi’ in media culture and show that the metaphor of streaming serves to keep the remediation of past media forms hidden while simultaneously revealing certain dominant features of digital culture.

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Keywords digital television, historiography, streaming, media archaeology
Publisher Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
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Journal VIEW Journal
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Note VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 4, No 7 (2015); 110-119
Thibault, Ghislain. (2015). Streaming: A Media Hydrography of Televisual Flows. VIEW Journal, 4(7), 110–119. doi:10.18146/2213-0969.2015.jethc085