Thursday, 11 February 2010

interview on media archaeology and media arts

I have spent the day editing an interview we did with Dr Garnet Hertz on the methods, contexts and relations to media arts of media archaeology. The process has been long but enjoyable (and we hope to find a place to publish this extensive interview) as it has really helped me to articulate several things that might form some core statements in my forthcoming book as well. Garnet himself is a specialist in media archaeology as an artistic methods and I am grateful for his collaboration on this. This has really made it clear how media archaeology has to move from being a "mere" textual practice to a fully fledged artistic method - and that methodology needs to be articulated clearly. I think there are two ways to progress here to take it forward (and how it has been taken forward); media archaeology as a method for concrete machinics of media (whether in the fashion of Paul DeMarinis, or then e.g. the hardware hacking, circuit bending way proposed by the Berlin school promoted by Ernst). On the other hand, there is the ontological argument, as I would label it; that stems already from Kittler, continued by Ernst, but also lots of other recent developments which insist on the specificity of the material in technological excavations; the materiality of the contemporary, scientifically informed, media culture.

In addition, the interview helped me to kick-start the idea of media archaeology as a traveling discipline. It has not found a stable home yet, but in the manner that Mieke Bal writes about traveling concepts, media archaeology is a toolbox traveling between and across discplines and institutions from film to media and art schools; concrete archives and theory institutions. There lies its promise as well in terms of trying to advance an understanding of such traveling sets of theories as a crucial component of the 21st century arts and humanities agenda -- traveling not least between arts and sciences, humanities and technology.

More soon, if we found a journal or some other venue to publish the interview...

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