Monday, 6 September 2010

A crowd sourcing request

The current book I am writing on media archaeology is supposed to fit into MA and PhD related course curricula -- hence I am juggling between trying to give a sense of key debates and directions as well as offering new insights to how media archaeology is developing -- and should develop. I am of course myself fixed to my own thoughts, which include that media archaeology should develop a stronger, more explicit notion of the archive and the change in regimes of memory (an area Wolfgang Ernst has been active in), take into account current emphasis on software cultures as well as distributed cognition and work one's way backwards from these "not-solely-optical" regimes, write a more materialist theoretical base for media archaeology --- and inspired by Garnet Hertz and our recent exchanges, articulate a solid practice-oriented base for media archaeological art methods.

Yet, in addition I would be keen to hear your opinions --- hence this crowd sourcing request:

- what do you think media archaeology has been missing, and what should be included when mapping future directions for media archaeology?
- what do you consider as key sources, books, resources for media archaeology?


  1. Phenomenology of media in everyday life, by which I mean how people consume media, would be fascinating. For example, during the recent political conflicts in Bangkok, taxi drivers listening to radio was by far the most influential media, but it was not the policy debates that I like to cover in my work for a Bangkok newspaper, but rather raw emotive, call to action, get angry sort of stuff. In the provinces, community radio stations produced this sort of content. It has all been suppressed now and I doubt if it was archived, which leads me to believe that a historically significant media phenomenon will be lost to media archaeology or history.

  2. a great it also includes the non-Anglo American perspective...making a note of this (not however sure how to integrate yet but very important point and relates to wider context of archiving of "everyday life" in mobile etc. cultures and in this context even to activism/politics too!) Can I possibly use this

  3. Not that the Thai example is relevant to European concerns. More broadly construed, I might phrase the request, digging up archaeologically the "emotive appeal of omnipresent radio." Of course, the archives or artifacts may have disappeared with the ravages of time...[sigh].

  4. In addition to this specific idea re. Thai context, it has an important link to the more general way we approach the more fleeting cultural expressions, every culture, etc. And indeed, it's not that we need to be able to generalize from such examples, but that the focus in itself should become broader, and media archaeologies of the postcolonial should emerge.

  5. please include "hardware studies" like that of Matthew Kirschenbaum.

    as well memory is meant as something static, but always in a transisional phase, thus time-critical and rhythmical (as I would say).

    you could also include notions of archeology by deleuze (i.e his book on foucault) or agamben (signature of everything) or others.

  6. indeed Shintaro, very good! making a note of this;

    also, check out the soon forthcoming Wendy Chun book on these themes of memory...excellent material forthcoming.

  7. Do you mean this?
    I saw the video of her keynote at your conference. Started to read Adrian Machenzies "Cutting Code".

  8. Yup, that is Wendy's book. Most probably an excellent read...Wendy has also a text in our forthcoming Media Archaeology-book. Adrian is great, but no direct connection to media archaeology per se.