The term media archaeology

Our perception of the world takes place to a great extent via the media, media which unmistakably contribute to the transformation of our civilization. Active media archeology addresses the medium with questions, conducts artistic basic research that permeates the various layers of time and artistically activates the medium in the here and now.

The term ”media archaeology” was coined by Siegfried Zielinski in his book ”Archäologie der Medien. Zur Tiefenzeit des technischen Hörens und Sehens” (The Archaeology of the Media. On the deep time of technical seeing and hearing) in 2002. Zielinski takes time’s arrow out of the present and directs it via past events and persons to a possible future. His attention is focused on oddities that in his mind, are ”finds from the rich history of seeing, hearing and combining by means of technical tools”. Thus, he leaves the linear path of historiography and, through his finds, opens up different options of constructing the future.

The IMA Institute of Media Archeology works at the boundary between the analog and the digital and the interface between research and communication, above all in connection with acoustics, sound machines, and digital music.

digging | women, art and technology

The emphasis is on unearthing female productions in the field of electronic arts, analyzing their place in the overall historical context, and making them visible to a wider audience. Within this area of research the Institute seeks even more specifically to focus on the acoustic arts in all their manifestations.

The goal is to embed and theoretically contemplate current art production in a historical overall context. This basis will enable us to encourage international networking and cooperation between artists and institutions. This network can and should be conceived as cross-disciplinary in order to flesh out the accompanying theoretical framework. Cooperation projects should not just occur passively but are also actively encouraged.

To the IMA, technology and art by women are clearly and positively linked. Whether this art comes/came from working with or manipulating electronic devices or from programming computers is irrelevant. The main thing is the active focus on dealing with technological developments.

Documenting and working with these unearthed productions in a contemporary context is, of course, one of the primary interests of the Institute. In 2003 MIT published “Women, Art & Technology” edited by Judy Malloy. This book very specifically discusses the work and work methods of women/artists in connection with technology. Along these conceptual lines the IMA has two series of its own – IMA Fiction and Machine Divas – in which it explores the (sometimes very hard to access) accomplishments of women.