The teleprompter, past and future
February 02, 2017
A short article about the long, steady rise of the teleprompter, and a speculation on the device's demise.
Harvard visiting rhetoric scholar Nana Ariel writes a brief but satisfying history of the teleprompter in aeon. She asserts that partly thanks to President Trump's characterization of the device as a symbol of political artifice,
Cracks have appeared in the teleprompter paradigm. It’s at risk from a growing distrust of intermediaries, filters, reputable third-parties of all kinds. This doesn’t mean audiences won’t enjoy the magic show now and again. Wearable devices and implants could extend the self and its capacities, and are likely to reshape the relations between speech, truth and authenticity once again. But the point is that what makes something believable is not grounded in any inherent fixed essence; rather, it is a flexible performance shaped by the changing material and cultural forms we grant it.