Media screens are both present and absent, both well known and unknown. Pervasive use makes them ‘vanish.’ We look through them, not at them. Even cracked smartphone screens do not attract attention to their wounded surfaces. The users read messages and “realities” through the cracks which they barely notice. Screens not only disguise themselves; they hide the history of their own becoming. The media archaeologist’s task is to make the screens visible again and to excavate the cultural contexts where they have been used and given meanings – even hundreds of years ago. This lecture is based on the author’s forthcoming book Screenology, or Media Archaeology of the Screen. It demonstrates one possible way of researching screens, suggesting a new approach for media studies.
Erkki Huhtamo is known as a founding figure of media archaeology. He has published extensively on media culture and media arts, lectured worldwide, given stage performances, curated exhibitions, and directed TV programs. He is a professor at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Departments of Design Media Arts, and Film, Television, and Digital Media. His most recent book is Illusions in Motion. Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles (The MIT Press, 2013).
This 2nd annual A&AA Interdisciplinary Lecture is sponsored by the School of Architecture & Allied Arts with special thanks to History of Art and Architecture Department, Product Design Department, Art and Administration Program and Art and Technology Program for their support.
Image caption: Credit: Erkki Huhtamo Collection
Headshot Caption: Erkki Huhtamo, 2014. Photo: Marta Nijhuis