sábado, 7 de enero de 2012


Kristoffer Gansing se estrenará como director artístico de la Transmediale en la inminente edición de 2012. Como aperitivo, a la espera de lo que ocurra en unas semanas, tenemos su elocuente carta de presentación y un interesante artículo que publicó recientemente en el (muy recomendable) The Fibreculture Journal: The Transversal Generic: Media-Archaeology and Network Culture.
[...] ‘It’s as though the space-time of culture has been flipped on its axis: the place once occupied by the future is now taken by the pasts’ as Reynolds (2011b: 34) writes on the transformation of music culture in which artists are no longer ‘astronauts but archaeologists, excavating through layers of debris (the detritus of the analogue, pre-internet era)’ (Ibid.). In the haze of synthetic futures past evoked by the hypnagogic pop of artists like Oneohtrix Point Never, the fetishistic focus on analogue technologies in Hollywood movies like Zodiac (2007) and Super 8 (2011) or in the work of contemporary artists who utilise and re-purpose analogue technologies such as Haroun Mirza or Gina Carducci, it is as if media-archaeology has moved from a research agenda on the margins of media studies to being a wide spread cultural practice. In this context media-archaeology has also increasingly become, as recently stated by Jussi Parikka, ‘a method for doing media design and art’ (Hertz and Parikka, 2010).
[...] As Chun has suggested with her notion of ‘the enduring ephemeral’ (2008), digital media culture is characterized by an ideological conflation of memory and storage where the degenerative aspects central to memory are repressed ‘in order to support dreams of superhuman digital programmability and of the future unfolding predictably from memory’ (Chun 2008: 2). For Chun, ‘memory does not equal storage’ (Ibid: 164)—memory is connected to the past as an active process of looking backwards while storage ‘always looks to the future’ (Ibid.), but everyday computer jargon and practice have come to see the basic computational processes of storing and erasing data as the constant writing and re-writing of memory. This conforms memory to a kind of storing and erasing of the past as already actualised data, a clinical information-keeping which we might see as deriving directly from cybernetics as the science of the most effective circulation of information.

[...] I will consider how artistic practices working in the spirit of media-archaeology, appropriating near-obsolete or residual media technologies, may be seen as “reverse-remediations”, acting out the politics of contemporary networked media through spatio-temporal hybridism. In this mode, new digital and networked media, rather than re-fashioning themselves, are re-fashioned by the artists who engage in revisionist interventions using near-obsolete, often analogue forms of media.
[...] Sweden-based German artist Katrin Caspar’s Random Hit (2009) is an OHP-based installation which performs a reverse-remediation of the old into the new. It further develops the open/closed dialectics and double-status of the OHP discussed above. In this work, Caspar has placed a transparent square plastic-box container on top of the projection surface of the OHP. In it we see small words printed on and cut out from transparency foils. The words are blown about the OHP projection surface with the help of two computer fans situated at the edges of the box. When projected, these words form generative and temporary clusters reminiscent of tag clouds, cut-up poetry or perhaps its more mundane version, the once so popular fridge-poetry. As the title indicates, the words have been selected from a simple script performing a randomising operation on Wikipedia entries which are then cut up into the words to be printed on the foils. The method of selection coupled with the materiality of the collage adds a transversal dynamic to the project, beyond the temporary territories of meaning and poetic statements generated when the air moves the words. As Caspar herself describes this simple experiment, she is connecting the flat space of the overhead, as a stage for the teacher’s typically linear pedagogic narratives, with the encyclopaedic, data-base knowledge space of Wikipedia. The concept is reinforced literally by the physical materiality of the assemblage-like installation. The boxed in three-dimensional space on the top of the overhead creates a further shadow play so that words are projected over their own more or less blurry copies. This is a process evocative of the politics of information networks and their incessant copying-as-transmission discussed earlier.
[...] The traversal of the old and new blurs the supposed openness of network model of knowledge formation, together with the supposed closed nature of the older analogue model, forming partial territories of meaning situated between these regimes of knowing. This blurring of the old and the new is not carried out in order to re-enter a cultural circuit of intelligible relations. Instead it demonstrates that media-archaeological art practice may transform this generic into—in the words of Laruelle—what is only a ‘semi-circulation’ of ‘knowledges and products which do not have “guarantors”, unilateral merchandise, “perspectives”, or “intentions”’ (2011: 251).
[...] The arché of the archive is, following Derrida (1996) and Ernst (2002), a movement where order is created from disorder. Yet the materiality of networked media culture seems to lead to a generative multiplicity of parallel disorders as well as orders. There are no absolute origins to be found in this culture of constant computation and transmission of data. There is rather a constant generation of new links leading to what some have characterised as either a pervasive real-time culture (Volmar, 2009) or a state of atemporality (Sterling, 2010), where all cultural forms and media content seem to be simultaneously accessible, extending across past-present and future. Perhaps then, when media-archaeological practice becomes a cultural generic, the final breakdown of the cybernetic ideal of managing the future through the operationalisation of the past is already in motion. In such a context, the most radical cultural practices may not necessarily be those that literally transduce techno-material energies from one machine to another. They might rather be those which do not connect on technological terms but which work transversally across systems, rather than within them. This can be observed in the principle of maximisation found in intermediality. In relation to medium-specificity this is the indeterminate and “dislocative” side of modern aesthetics.

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