Media-archaeology and Artist: Rear‐View Mirror

202003290348 — Media-archaeology and Artist: Rear‐View Mirror

Reference: Erkki Huhtamo, ‘Art in the Rear‐View Mirror: The Media‐Archaeological Tradition in Art’, in A Companion to Digital Art, ed. by Christiane Paul (Chichester, West Sussex ; Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2016), 69-

일반학자들과 미디어 고고학과의 관계


  • Devices that have disappeared not only as material artifacts but even from cultural memory have been unearthed, dissected, reinvented, and combined with ideas from other times and places.  
  • Intellectually and emotionally challenging works are created by ambitious artists who have done their historical homework. 


  • By exploring forms like panoramas and stereoscopy, artists such as Jeffrey Shaw, Michael Naimark, and Luc Courchesne—although producing works that were contemporary high‐tech creations—were also implying that there was a technological past worth exploring.
  • (글쓴이의 질문) I began questioning the discursive construction of contemporary media culture, wondering what may have been hidden behind its dominant utopian and “progressivist” narratives. 
  • In idiosyncratic ways everyone was animated by a desire to question the prevailing “grand narratives” about technology, science, and media.  ➡︎ 커다란 내러티브란건 정말 있기는 한걸까
  • Influenced by Michel Foucault’s archaeology of knowledge, they began exploring the archives for omissions, undetected or masked ruptures, and dark corners. 


  • Media archaeology questions technological determinism by emphasising the multiplicity of the factors that affect historical agents at any one moment and contribute to the formation of media culture. 
  • (키틀러와 맥루한의 차이점) The human remained the center of McLuhan’s thinking, whereas for Kittler the onslaught of technological devices used for the “inscription” and storage of words, sounds, images, and numerical data pointed toward the posthuman condition, where humans would disappear and history come to an end2 (Kittler 1990). 
  • 키틀러의 경우 특별히 스스로 미디어 고고학으로 지칭하지 않았으나 데리다의 탈구축이론 deconstructionism, 라캉의 정신분석학, 그리고 푸코의 지식의 고고학에 영향을 받았다.



  • “The point is confirmed: history is a story of loss and recovery and comes to us in bits and pieces,” The Gesualdo Hex(2010) 
  • Most importantly, the results of the excavations made by artists are expressed by different means. Instead of being translated into the meta‐language of words, artworks often re‐enact features of the excavated object itself. 
  • Like artists, media archaeologists travel between tempo- ralities, comparing them, juxtaposing them, and persuading them to illuminate each other. 
  • To be worth being identified as media‐archaeological, an artwork must evoke earlier media in one way or another. Such works can be treated as “metacommentaries” on media culture, its motifs, its structures, and its ideological, social, psychological, and economic implications (Huhtamo 1995b). 
  • 미디어-고고학 아트는 1980 후기쯤에 시작한 것으로 보인다. 초기 contributions 스콜러들 (Huhtamo and Parikka 2011, 3, 6–7, 14)
    • Aby Warburg
    • Walter Benjamin
    • Dolf Sternberger 
    • Ernst Robert Curtius
  • 아티스트들
    • 모더니스트 eschewed the past
      • Le Corbusier
      • Walter Gropius
      • Kasimir Malevich
      • Piet Mondrian
    • 퓨처리스트
      • Filippo Tommaso Marinetti 의 리드
    • Kirk Varnedoe and Adam Gopnik’s exhibition catalogue High and Low: Modern Art and Popular Culture(Varnedoe and Gopnik 1990) 


  • 비록 학자들과 아티스트들이 멀게는 르네상스 시대부터 미디어에 대한 아이디어를 차용했지만
    • Aby Warburg’s pioneering research demonstrated, the references mostly concerned styles and motifs—Warburg’s “pathos formulas” (Michaud 2004, 7–9 and passim)—rather than tools and conditions of visual illusions. 
    • 다다이스트, 초현실주의 (특정지을 수 없는 아티스트들) Marcel Duchamp, Frederick Kiesler 가 아마도 처음으로 테크놀로지와 conversational relationship 을 발전시킨 케이스일 것이다.
      • 다다이스트 예시) Francis Picabia’s Dadaist paintings of machines are early examples (Pontus Hultén 1968, 82–95) 

  • 초현실주들은 극도로 past의 archived plundered (약탈) 하였는데
    • using them[past archived] as repositories for ideas to s(t)imulate the operations of the unconscious mind. Max Ernst 막스에른스트’s graphic novels La femme 100 têtes(1929) and Rêve d’une petite fille qui foulut entrer au carmel(1930) demonstrated how popular illustrations from magazines, encyclopedias, children’s books, and other sources could be turned into uncanny collages that penetrated beyond the rational surface of bourgeois normality while preserving traces of their actual referents.


  • 두샴은 “미디어 아티스트”는 아니지만 적은 숫자의 아티스트들만이 그보다 미디어와 complex한 relationship 을 develop했다.
    • 예를들어서 는 chronophotography 를 연상시킨다.
  • Posing as an optician‐scientist, Duchamp bridged the past and the present, combining 3D with 4D. 
  • 그중에서도 가장 complex media-archaeological contribution은 Étant donnés: 1. la chute d’eau, 2. le gaz déclairage

Art, Technology, and the Past 50s/60s


  • has 60/70년대의 구성주의, 네오 다다이즘, 실험주의 아티스트,
    • More intense, indirect approach to constructing functioning devices to administer visual and auditory experiences for their audiences. Yet, no consensus about the implications of the human–machine relationship was reached. 
    • the constructivist line continued the anti‐passéist agenda of early 20th‐century modernists 
    • It was the neo‐Dadaist trend that drew inspiration from the past, making ambiguous and impish references to “obsolete” cultural forms and mixing them with products and ideas from contemporary culture. 


  • Experimental artists of the 1960s did not ignore media history, but it was rarely their major concern.
    • 예를 들어 Stan Vanderbeek 의 경우 Movie‐ Drome(1963) 
  • 하지만 이 경우도 무빙 이미지 컬처를 reinvetion하는 것이 목적이었지 미디어 히스토리는 중심이 아니었다.
  • 다른 예시로는 Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville’s Dream Machine (or Dreamachine, 1961). 
  • 과거 zoetrope 와의 공통점이 제시되지만, one should also consider the differences related to function and the context of invention and use.
    • Gysin characterized the sensation with a media‐related metaphor as “a multidimensional kaleidoscope whirling out through space” (diary entry, December 21, 1958, quoted in Weiss 2001, 113). 
    • Gysin wanted to produce a machine for creating the kinds of sensations he had experienced. (“spontaneous hallucinations” he experienced on a bus trip in southern France)
    • The zoetrope was a moving picture machine, whereas the *Dream Machine*was meant to tease out images assumed to pre‐exist in the user’s mind. 


  • The Dream Machinedeserves a place in the history of media‐archaeological art, because it belongs to a tradition running from the “natural magic” of 17th‐century Jesuits to kaleidoscopes, phenakistiscopes, and zoetropes, quack machines for healing with light, and kinetic artworks such as Duchamp’s Rotoreliefs and  Schöffer Nicolas’s Le Lumino(1968) and *Varetra*(1975). 


  • 다른 예시로는 Alfons Schilling (1934–2013)
    • Duchamp’s disks always produced discrete figures in motion (including their pulsating illusions of depth), whereas Schilling’s rotating paintings emphasized the fusion of colors and shapes when spun. 
  • As Max Peintner has shown, Schilling’s contraptions were deeply rooted in the history of perspectival imaging, joining the broad tradition of perspective machines, katoptric experiments, and optical prostheses described by Martin Kemp in his book Science of Art(Kemp 1990; Schilling 1997). 
  • Alfons Schilling과의 다른 비교 예시로는 American Jim Pomeroy (1945–1992) 

Jim Pomeroy, Stereo Views “From Artpark 1987…”, reel 2, 1988

  • Schilling’s stance was cool and formal; he called himself an “artist and visual thinker” or “artist and innovator,” and rarely paid much attention to thematic social and cultural issues. Pomeroy was colorful and eclectic, a manifestation of a long American tradition of enthusiastic self‐taught tinkerers (DeMarinis 1993, 1–15).
    • Newt Ascending Astaire’s Face(1975) 
  • As Roland Barthes famously demonstrated, photographs can never be sites of incontestable truth. Their meanings depend on cultural coding and textual “anchor- ing” that can be (ab)used for ideological purposes (Barthes 1977, 15–31).
    • * His later idea, expressed in Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography(1980, trans. 1981), of the “punctum” partly undermined his earlier semiotic position. 

아방가르드시네마, 필름역사 (중시)주의, Archaeologies of Projection


  • 아티스트
    • Revisionist film historians Noel Burch, the issue contained material about filmmakers such as Klaus Wyborny who had since the late 1960s incorporated references to early cinema into their works. 
    • Other names could be added to the list:
      • Ken Jacobs, 
      • Hollis Frampton, 
      • Malcolm LeGrice, 
      • Ernie Gehr, 
      • Robert Breer, 
      • and Werner Nekes.
        • The latter’s experimental feature film Uliisses(1980–1982) was packed with media‐archaeological references (Nekes 1987). 
  • 50년대와 초기 60년대는 개인적 (myth)poetic works가 주를 이루었다.  Foten with echoes of surrealism. 

☐ 특히 Stan Brakhage  202004011903 — Stan Brakhage

☐ Moth

Some Notes on the Selection of Titles for By Brakhage: An Anthology, Volume Two | The Current | The Criterion Collection

  • 60년대 후기를 지나면서 structural and conceptual forms로 들어섰다.
    • “cinematic apparatus” (the material‐metapsychological context of the filmic experience) 
    • (Structural filmmaker) Ken Jacobs’s Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son(1969) 의 경우 1905년대의 필름을 늘이고 자르고 줄이면서 짧은 필름을 거의 2시간 가량으로 늘렸다. 그로인해 filmic text를 강제적으로 들어나게 했다.
      • Bart Testa has rightly characterized Tom, Tom the Piper’s Sonas “an archaeological essay in addition to a semiotic genealogy of film language” (Testa 1992, 222–272). 
  • 60 년대에 또 유행을 한 것은 “thumb movies” (adding a tactile dimension to the visual experience) ➡︎ flipbook 은 이미 1860년대에 발명되었다. Englishman John Barnes Linnett in 1868.
    • 플립북을 만든 다른 익스페리멘탈 필름메이커에는
      • Robert Breer (as early as 1955), 
      • Oskar Fischinger (as Mutoscope reels), 
      • Stan Vanderbeek, 
      • Douglass Crockwell, 
      • Andy Warhol, 
      • Jack Smith, 
      • and Birgit and Wilhelm Hein, 
      • as well as by Fluxus artists like George Brecht, Mieko Shiomi and Dick Higgins. 
  • 70년대에 들어와서는
    • John Baldessari, 
    • Gilbert & George, 
    • Eduardo Paolozzi 
    • and François Dallegret contributed to the artists’ flipbook tradition. 
  • 지속적으로 만들어져 현재에는
    • visual artists like Keith Haring, 
    • animation filmmakers like Peter Foldes and Taku Furukawa, 
    • and media artists like Gregory Barsamian and Tony Oursler (Gethmann et al. 2005).
  • Robert Breer also created his own versions of Mutoscope viewers and exhibited his flipbooks as murals (Gethmann et al. 2005, 74). 


  • 스콜러
    • The discovery of early cinema by avant‐garde filmmakers became associated with emerging forms of cinema scholarship, 
    • such as writings on the cinematic apparatus (dispositif) by scholars such as Jean‐Louis Comolli and Jean‐Louis Baudry and the “new film historicism” represented by Tom Gunning, André Gaudreault, Noel Burch, Charles Musser, Thomas Elsaesser, Miriam Hansen, and others (Testa 1992, 18). 
    • Gunning demonstrated by discussing the complex relationships between the successive “new beginnings” introduced by avant‐garde cinema and the cinema of the earliest times (Gunning 1983, 355–366). Gunning, Tom. 1983. “An Unseen Energy Swallows Space: The Space in Early Film and Its Relation to American Avant‐Garde Film.” In Film Before Griffith, edited by John L. Fell. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
    • Such “memory lapses” remind us that media‐archaeological excavations should not be limited only to identifying forgotten predecessors and unacknowledged cultural contexts. They must be performed on the terrain of contemporary art as well. 


  • Avant‐garde filmmakers extended their explorations to other types of projected images as well. Ken Jacobs, whose profuse work with found footage film had raised issues about the shape of film history since the 1950s, played a central role here by moving into experimental live performance. 
  • 켄 제이콥의 파라시네마는 두개의 섭헤팅으로 나뉜다
    • The Nervous System
      • pair of modified 16 mm film projectors that can project single frames—both forward and backward—and a variable‐speed motorised shutter wheel rotating in front of their lenses 
    • The Nervous Magic Lantern
      • He went further back to the basics. The effects are produced by manipulating light by means of colour filters and spinning wheels. 


  • Such “memory lapses” remind us that media‐archaeological excavations should not be limited only to identifying forgotten predecessors and unacknowledged cultural contexts. They must be performed on the terrain of contemporary art as well.
    • 두개 다 테크노로지컬 시스템으로 have been utilised in series of performances. 
    • Jacobs has since moved both forward and backward in time. The Nervous Magic Lanternretreated to the “primitives” of light, color, and shadows (perhaps echoing the multimedia lightshows of the 1960s), whereas works like Capitalism(2006) extended Schilling’s discoveries into the realm of the digital.  쉴링의 영향
    • Capitalism: Slavery – Ken Jacobs – The Film-Makers’ Cooperative
    • 다른 작가의 예시로는 (whose non-filmic projection works bring up historical precedents) Tony Oursler’s The Influence Machinewas a large‐scale outdoor installation shown in New York and London (Oursler 2000) 
  • Slide Movie—Diafilmprojektor(2006) by Gebhard Sengmüller 

뉴미디어아트, 미디어고고학, 여성미디어아티스트. (80년대)


  • In the 1980s a growing number of artists began creating installations in which digital technology played a central role. 
  • 갤러리 방문지를 physically interact 시키는 것이 주요 특징이다. “Grand narrative” of techno culture around 1990 을 evoke 하는 것도 특징이다.
  • 이러한 작업들은 특정적으로 과거를 언급하진 않지만, 매우 많은 작업들이 그렇게 했다. which may have reflected the uncertainties about media culture at the time. 
  • In 1994, I considered the appearance of this approach as a sign of the times (콜드워의 종식 테레토리얼, 문화적 큰 변화), as proof that “media art is gradually reaching maturity, but it also implies a certain anxiety (Huhtamo 1994c).” 


  • The reference point behind
    • The Banff Kinetoscope, or Field Recording Studies(1993–1994) by Michael Naimark,

  • The Virtual Body(1994) by Catherine Richards, 
  • “at once a scientific instrument, an aesthetic object, and a postmodern magic box,” is a column‐like viewer with a video simulation of a rococo salon inside. 
  • * Curiosity Cabinet at the End of the Millennium
  • and A Dialogue with Hunger(1993) by Heidi Tikka’s works is the long history of “peep media” (the practice of peeking at hidden images through lenses), but they dealt with it in very different ways (Huhtamo 2006). At Hand, movable touch installation


  • 페미니스트 이론과 관계를 조명한다
    • There has been an extraordinary amount of interest in media‐archaeological approaches among female artists (although not always explicitly defined as such by the artists themselves). One could argue that this must have something to do with the parallels between media archaeology, feminist theory, and women’s history. Much like media archaeologists, feminist theorists and women’s historians are engaged in activities aimed at uncovering suppressed phenomena and discourses, combating narratives converted into “truths” in the male‐dominated society. 

이야기, Alternative Archaeologies of Moving Images and Sound


  • 미디어 고고학의 레퍼런스들은 포스트모던의 문화의 급증을 바탕으로 한 경우가 많으며, 광범위하게 적용하는 것은 더이상 가능하지 않다. 그중에서도 꾸준하게 makes sense하는 아티스트에는
    • Toshio Iwai “Another Evolution of the Moving Image.” 


  • The story of morphovision’s development is a good example of Iwai’s media‐ archaeological approach (Iwai, 2005b). 
  • Paul DeMarinis “Another Evolution of the Sound Image.” Paul DeMarinis
  • I think that by carefully studying the histories of current day technologies, we can uncover insights into the constellation of human and technical arrangements that can help to projectively crystallize an understanding of the real nature of our current condition. This is based on my prejudice that cultures have long‐standing currents of agenda—over hundreds of years and often unspoken—and that technologies, like the rest of material culture, are a reification of these agendas. They are neither dis- coveries nor neutral. They come out of the dreams of people and offer indications of social relations. (Pritikin 2012) 


  • Applying Wittgenstein’s idea of family resemblance to Iwai’s output, one could suggest that his practice forms a web of interconnected ideas in a state of constant transformation. 
  • The old meets the new, low tech meets high tech. Iwai has made numerous forays into entertainment and design, even designing a raincoat from new super non‐absorbent material that makes it possible to play with the raindrops—to enjoy the rain. He has also applied ideas from his art installations to museum displays. 


  • 이와이가 테크놀로지의 Natural magic 을 그린다면 이마리니즈는 DeMarinis builds machinic artworks that sing, speak, transmit messages, and resonate culturally in the observer’s mind. 
  • 이 두 아티스트의 차이
    • DeMarinis is a learned artist‐researcher, who also finds inspiration in forgotten patent documents and old books of science and technology. So is Iwai, but in a different sense. For Iwai the device—the technical apparatus—is the center of everything, a mechanism full of unrealized potential
    • 디마리니즈의 질문은 ➡︎ His creations seem to be asking: What hap- pened? What did not happen? What would have happened, if …? What would hap- pen, if …? 


  • DeMarinis’s work undermines simple deterministic ideas. In typical manner, he wrote in connection with The Messenger: “there is no inherent bi‐directionality in electrical communication” (DeMarinis 2010b, 240). 
  • DeMarinis’s works with radios reveal parallels with the interests of hackers and techno‐hobbyists. 



  • diversity 로 인해 Fitting all this—and other unnamed things—under a neat conceptual umbrella and classifying everything under a limited set of headings would be impossible, and per- haps not even desirable. 
  • Generalizations of any kind are risky, but it may not be incorrect to say that all experimental art strives for the indeterminate and the unchained, even when highly structured. 
  • The Internet, in particular, is a huge topos storage area and accelerator. 
  • Access to channels of information is a precondition for developing a media‐archaeological awareness. The emergence of interest in early silent films in the 1960s and 1970s had to do with new possibilities of seeing such works in film archives and clubs and on television. 


  • the media‐archaeological turn has something to do with an overarching, partly uncontrolled and troubling transition that is underway in media culture. 
  • To return to McLuhan’s metaphor evoked at the beginning of this study, gazing into the rear‐view mirror is a necessary precondition for finding routes—scenic, exciting, and safe, although not necessarily the quickest and the most direct—to navigate into the future.  ⬅︎ 이게 이 사람 목적이네.