Abstract- Forward through the Rear-View Mirror: Media Arts and Media Archaeology”

The defining characteristic of the media arts is often considered to be their occupation with the most recent technologies. Purporting to uncover their unused potential, media artists push their boundaries, scrutinizing and criticizing the ways in which they are applied within science, society and commerce. For many observers, media arts are essentially
futuristic, and even utopian. There are, however, artists who, while facing the future, keenly observe the rear-view mirror as well. For them, the future of the media is inevitably linked with their past(s). Exploring the technologies of the past, as well as the discourses related with them, has become an essential aspect of the creative process for these artists, whose strategies often bear striking similarities with the research goals and approaches of the “media archaeologists”. This lecture explores the “media archaeological”  approaches developed and applied by artists within the field of the media arts. It reflects upon the peculiar ways in which these artists are bridging the past with the present (and arguably the future), and combining their media-archaeological “excavations” with the processes of art-making.