Blog de Pau Alsina, profesor e investigador en arte, pensamiento y tecnociencias
Last week Vanina Hofman and me presented the paper “Machines Agency in the Construction of Media Art Memory” in the pannel B of MEDIA ARCHAEOLOGY at the RENEW. 5th International Histories of Media, Art, Science and Technology Conference held in the beautiful city of Riga. It was a really wonderful experience as we had the chance to talk with very interesting scholars researching in similar areas but from different parts of the world. We met really nice people, listen to their fascinating research, had great talks with them and also of course great fun enjoying the city. The opening keynote by Erkki Huhtamo on Cloud Archaeology was great as always, so we talked a bit with him asking him some key questions about Media Archaeology that we recorded. We also talked a lot (and recorded part of it)
with Chris Salter on the challenges of Media Art in the near future, as he will chair the next 2015 Media Art History Conference in Montreal, that will be named RE:CREATE and will be focused in new methods and theories. (We will publish both talks edited here)
And here is the abstract of what we presented in Riga. We are now finishing the written paper that is going to be published in the Proceedings (once done we will try to post the link to the full text in here):
Based on “elusive” materials and connected with the notion of art as a research process, that does not necessarily culminate in an objectual manifestation, a great portion of our contemporary art projects slips out of our hands. Current strategies to preserve contemporary art promote the transformation of the technological substrate of artworks in order to keep them alive. In doing so, they are stamping the technological acceleration of our Network Society in the material dimension of the artworks. In other words, strategies like migration, reconstruction, re-mediation, as well as the blurred frontiers between artwork and documentation are creating new ways to record art trajectories. How do these strategies oriented to modify the techo-material aspects of art practices affect the construction of their memory?
This paper is triggered by Wolfgang Ernst’s idea on machines agency as a key notion to approach the processes involved with the construction of memory. In his own words: “technical media have already developed a true media memory that differs from human remembrance” (2011). According to Ernst’s, technologies are at the same time object and subject of archaeological research, showing complementary discourses. When interpreted as subjects, symptomatic examples like photography illustrate “a media-archaeological technique of remembering the past in a way that is radically alternative to historical discourse” (2005). Technologies are co-producers of their times and might become archaeologists in the future. Thus, can technological embedded records become an alternative/complementary perspective of written analysis, interviews of artists, and other current methods of preserving arts? Does technological remembering become a strategic way to embrace the process of construction of Media Arts memory?
To dig deeper into this approach, we will introduce three Latin-American examples: the “Minuphone” by Marta Minujin; “La Máquina Podrida” by Brian Mackern; and the reinterpretation of León Ferrari’s “Planta” by Gabriel Rud.