Keynote speakers are Professor Wolfgang Ernst (Humboldt University) and Professor Erkki Huhtamo (UCLA).

As the field of media archeology has manifested simultaneously in various areas of media theory, media historiography, contemporary digital culture, media art, and electronic literature, questions of materiality have moved to the forefront. Media archaeologists have shifted scholarly attention from “messages,” narratives, or contents to the mechanisms of mediation, obsolete and forgotten material relics, and alternative modes of production of the past.

Such theoretical and practical concerns not only allow us to approach media arts with a fresh critical vocabulary, but also highlight the common grounds between archaeologically informed studies of media and artistic practices. Indeed, scholars such as Erkki Huhtamo have long credited media arts as an important instigator of media archeological research. Archaeological artistic practices may open alternative modes of production of the past, for they facilitate going beyond the linearity of writing, as Wolfgang Ernst claims.

By bringing together scholars and artists in various areas – from sound and moving images to digital textual and game forms, the Media Matter: Media-Archaeological Research and Artistic Practice conference will further discussions and reflexive engagement with how artworks have informed archaeological approaches. Equally important, it will also provide an opportunity to consider how the work done by media archaeologists have come to influence artistic engagements.

We welcome proposals for scholarly papers and presentations of art projects that engage with issues in the relations between media archeology research and artistic practice. Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • The interrelations between media, materiality, and historicity as concepts and practices
  • The temporal and historiographic modes of media technologies
  • Obsolete and forgotten material relics as sources of history
  • The limitations and possibilities of different artistic practices vs. written accounts for producing an archaeological approach to the past
  • The artistic uses and approaches to past technologies and the extent to which they rely on approaches facilitated and informed by digital technologies

The conference is organized by the Department of Media Studies and the Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University. Organizing committee: Doron Galili, Thomas Götselius, Christer Johansson, Trond Lundemo, and Jörgen Skågeby.

About the keynote speakers:

Wolfgang Ernst, Professor for Media Theories at the Institut für Musik und Medienwissenschaft at Humboldt University, Berlin, and author of Digital Memory and the Archive (2013), Chronopoetics. The Temporal Being and Operativity of technological Media (2016), Sonic Time Machines. Explicit Sound, Sirenic Voices, and Implicit Sonicity (2016).

Erkki Huhtamo, Professor at the Departments of Design Media Arts and Film, Television, and Digital Media in the University of California Los Angeles, author of Illusions in Motion: Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles (2013), and (together with Jussi Parikka), editor of Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications (2011)

Guest artists:

Jin Sangtae, Seoul, South Korea. One of the pivotal musicians of the Seoul South Korean electronic and improvised music scene, Jin Sangtae performs with non-musical objects collected through his experience, projected into instruments, and then re-organised into the space. He uses hard drives and several materials that can be connected as his main instruments, and he also plays laptops, radios, car horns and electronics.

Lina Selander. Stockholm, Sweden. Photographer, filmmaker, and installation artists, Lina Selander explores in her work historical junctures in the history of media technologies and political systems, as well as the condition of images as memories, imprint, and representations. Her work has been shown internationally, including in Moderna Museet and the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Other artists to be announced.