Blog de Pau Alsina, profesor e investigador en arte, pensamiento y tecnociencias
Next week I will present my new paper at the Biannual Conference of the European Association of Science and Technology Studies that will be held in Torun, Poland. I am excited about it because I will be presenting in the context of a truly interesting panel focused in the relation between Media Studies and Science and Technology Studies, trying to answer questions about contamination, cross fertilization, hybridization of methodologies, theories, concepts or questions related to both fields. The panel “STS and media studies: Empirical and conceptual encounters?” is chaired by Cornelius Schubert (Universität Siegen) and Estrid Sørensen (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) and I will present a paper entitled “Circulating on a Media Archaeology bridge between STS and Media Studies” where I will try to expose some of the research, ideas, contributions, problems and questions I have been experiencing during last years as a result of a process of merging different methodologies, theories and perspectives that I have found really useful to get a grasp of the Media Art and Art&Science field.
Since I discovered almost by accident the STS field back in 2005 when I was writing my Phd Thesis, and vividly studying French philosopher Gilbert Simondon, I have been getting progressively into the STS field (and specifically into the Actor-Network Theory) as a way to surpass most of the conceptual jams where anyone that tried to study seriously Media Art and Art&Science practices from traditional Art History, Aesthetics or Media Studies fields I am sure have experienced.
We already knew about endemic Techno-phobia and Social determinism in Art and Humanities fields (not to mention Social Sciences), but on the contrary Technological determinism has also been a tacit companion in most of the Media Studies tradition since their beginnings, focusing mainly in the study of the media effects and impacts of new technologies on society or culture. But the language of “effects and impacts” has been progressively influenced by other approaches, like STS, that take this determinism into account and surpasses it.
Media Archaeology and ANT approaches, even with important differences between them, have also some key points in common that are contributing decisively to the development of Media Studies. First of all, their battle against technological and social determinism; then the redefinition of the agencies involved; also the resignification of the materiality of media and its relation with discourses; and finally the redistribution of causalities and linear temporality as well, amongst many others. In this sense, through the analysis of similarities and differences between them, we would like to approach to Media Archaeology as a strategic connector between key contributions of STS to the Media Studies.
Our goal in this communication it is to expose some of the onto-epistemic contributions of STS to Media Studies through the dialogue and analysis of contributions and limitations of a Media Archaeology approach to key study cases of media apparatus.