A Media-Archaeology of Art or an Art of Media-Archaeology?
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The history of objects is increasingly being understood as more vital than that of texts; of socio-cultural and political actions and narratives (Shryock and Smail, 2011). The current strands of Media Archaeological approaches to the study of objects (Parikka, 2012; Zielinski, 2002) provide access to the non-linear history of material networks; non-human histories of technologies, arts and media. An onto-epistemology of objects, in this context, would comprise more a play amongst a plurality of material and non-material agents (human, material and non-human). A media archaeology of artistic objects would require a different approach to that of media technologies; one that can account for the plurality of agents, but more importantly a plurality of consciousness from which the work itself is brought forth — the processes by which the artwork comes into being leaves its trace upon its material form (Crowther, 2011; Merleau-Ponty, 1961). An artistic reflection upon a media archaeology of artefacts, such as a photographers contact sheet and photographic images themselves, will be used to elaborate upon the non material affective forces that constitute its ontology; the consciousness of the artist, materials and the technologies, that bring the work into existence. This paper will elucidate these points and aim to reveal the importance of an ontological and philosophical understanding of artefacts for the emerging media archaeological and art historical discourses within the humanities. Crowther, P. (2011) Phenomenology of the Visual Arts (Even the Frame). Stanford: Stanford University Press. Parikka, J. (2012) What is Media Archaeology? Cambridge: Polity Press Merleau-Ponty, M. (1961) ‘Eye and Mind,’ Translated by Eddie, J.M., in Eddie, J.M. (ed) The Primacy of Perception: And Other Essays on Phenomenological Psychology, the Philosophy of Art, History and Politics. Reprint, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 1964, pp. 159-190. Shryock, A. and Smail, D. (2011) Deep History: The Architecture of the Past and Present. Berkeley: University of California Press. Zielinski, S. (2008) Deep Time of the Media: Toward an Archaeology of Hearing and Seeing by Technical Means. London: The MIT Press.
Knight, J., Woodward, M. (2014) ‘A Media-Archaeology of Art or an Art of Media-Archaeology?’. Art Matters 2014, University of Barcelona, Dec 11-12.
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