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AP1: research - media archaeology


Media archaeology - can look at media in a similar way to visual culture



Visual culture: - defined as 'a term that refers to the tangible, or visible, expressions by a people, a state or a civilization, and collectively describes the characteristics of that body as a whole.'


Visual culture in relation to aesthetics - what is deemed as beautiful - aesthetically pleasing - intertwined within everyday life e.g. advertisements, visual arts, architecture - anything in our culture that is presented in a visual way ...



Hunter, Ian. “Cultural Studies.” In Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, edited by Michael Kelly. Oxford Art Online, http://oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t234/e0143



What is Media Archaeology?

By Jussi Parikka

https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=yhNBHxSddkgC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=media+archaeology&ots=vMQIDnx5Ee&sig=zfYRHk_svmuAv29YWl8D3-zma8w&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false



media archaeology - thinking of new and old as interconnected and running in parallel

'An enthusiasm for media, technology, and science through aesthetics' (Parikka, J., 2012 p. 2)

'excavating the past in order to understand the present and the future' (Parikka, J., 2012 p. 2)


looking at dynamics of old and new media - being influenced by past to inform new media

New creations and new artwork continually reference the past


How can my own work reference the past?

- works can appear like excavated objects/fossils/geological artefacts

- works take inspiration from traditional making processes such as marble terrazzo and concrete casting - Neolithic and ancient Roman methods of architecture

Work can appear like fragments of architecture



My own sculptural work makes an aesthetic reference to historical processes of Neolithic stone carving, stone sites, monoliths etc as well as historical architectural processes used in ancient Roman times.




Michel Foucault - media archaeology as 'a methodology for excavating conditions of existence' (Parikka, J., 2012 p. 6). Explores how media is created, how it is sustained, how it functions, why it functions - these kind of questions can also be applied to my own work = in a similar way how is visual media in terms of artwork or art objects created - what purpose, how is it sustained? Perhaps my own sculptural practice can explore these ideas of media archaeology.



Parikka, J., 2012. What is media archaeology?. 1st ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.




Archaeology literally defined as 'the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artefacts and other physical remains.'


It is interesting that archaeology is so intertwined with material existence - it is a research into the past by using physical objects as a guide. similar way as an artist exploration of materiality

play with materials = knowledge


Understanding Media Archaeology


Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications.

Edited by Erkki Huhtamo & Jussi Parikka. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 2011, 366 pp. ISBN 9780520262737



- media archaeology can be seen as an umbrella terms for a research into specific groups of media



Zielinski - Deep time of the media



Zielinski describes that “the history of the media is not the product of a predictable and necessary advance from primitive to complex apparatus. The current state of the art does not necessarily represent the best possible state” (Zielinski, 2009, p. 7).


It is interesting how there is not a distinction between the primitive and the complex - more likely that they are constantly feeding back on it other - the complex constantly references back to the primitive. This further adds to the idea of the past and present working simultaneously.


I have been interested to explore this concept within my own work - by combining sculptures with a primitive or historical artefact aesthetic and combining new technologies such as through a process like laser cutting or electronics like motorised components.



Terrazzo - references back to a prehistoric time - geology - stone formation - Roman architectural creation. New processes - new technology - disrupt our understanding of the objects and disrupt our familiarity with the form and design



Media archaeologist - refusal of the notion of linear progress - interest in 'dead' media



Zielinski - "dreamers and modelers"

"Media are spaces of action for constructed attempts to connect what is separated,"

material remnants


Media Archaeology can be described as a process where media develops in a non-linear way, where it constantly reference the past and responds to the needs of a particular time in history.


Ability for media to be a source for connection and understanding - knowledge acquisition



Zielinski, S., 2009. Deep time of the media. 2nd ed. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Pr.