Friday, 2 November 2012

A Review of What is Media Archaeology?

An interesting take on What is Media Archaeology? in Reviews in History. Not sure if I agree with all of the notes made by the reviewer, for instance:

"Alongside the sophisticated middle-class consumer preferences and jaundiced post-Cold War politics sit references to all the popular cultural theories imbibed by the part of that generation that stayed on at university to get PhDs."

Indeed, I go through the consumer culture fascinated by "Retro", but to me it is better to take that aboard, instead of neglecting it. The reviewer writes earlier that I spend a bit too time on quirky things, instead of docile normality, but then also writes that I focus on "middle-class consumer preferences...". I would just say that indeed, I do both. Both the consumerised retro and vintage, and fascination with the past -- and the more interesting alternative insights into how to think technology and time. The slightly twisted, alternative, parallel and just off the radar approaches in artistic projects and historical examples are ways to actually approach the "normal".

Also, in terms of "popular cultural theories" I thought actually that the likes of Zielinski, Ernst, Siegert recent platform studies, software studies, and even Kittler are not really that well known (, especially in the Anglo-American world (Kittler is definitely not well known in UK academia) -- hence instead of exactly focusing on the canon (except for instance Foucault), I decide to do focus on slightly less debated theorists, and emerging directions, to illustrate new ways of understanding the theoretical force of media studies. Even the likes of Aby Warburg, or more generally German tradition of Bildwissenschaften are not always well known in current discussions in art and cultural theory/academia! This is why at times the "rediscovery" of writers such as Flusser makes exciting things happen. They open new paths in the brain, even in academia.