To be published in issue 21 (July 2018)
Deadline for submissions: 15th February 2018
Uncovering both the new in the old and the old in the seemingly new of the media is one of the most recognized tasks of Media Archaeology, a theoretical and methodological perspective on history itself that, among other displacements, reconfigures the historical causalities and agencies involved, offering alternative narratives to reflect on our contemporaneity. Today some of these displacements, extensively studied over recent decades, also align with the so-called material shift that for some years philosophers, artists and theoreticians in many disciplines have endeavoured to point to in all fields and particularly in the arts and media, as we have seen in previous monographic issues of the journal Artnodes.
This material shift aims to complement the pre-eminence of semiotic analysis with an emphasis on analysis of contexts, uses and experiences, as well as the agency of the machines, artefacts and other non-human agents linked to the media. This epistemological renewal, which also connects with the calling into question of historical causalities and the need for counter-narratives – although we could trace it back to the times of Walter Benjamin – was promoted in the mid-1980s by departments of Cultural Studies and departments of Communication through the reading of Michel Foucault, the New Historicism of literary studies and the later influence of Cultural History.
In this way, a renewed interest emerged in the contexts of change and development of technologies linked to expanding and challenging our field of knowledge, auditory and visual technologies, recording and playback devices, and so on. The area of interest called Media Archaeology brings together a whole set of researchers (be they historians, artists or theoreticians) interested in these issues that concern our way of seeing and understanding a world mediated by viewing and computation machines.
For issue no. 21 of Artnodes we are calling for articles that propose theoretical, practical and methodological research and, particularly, analysis of case studies from the perspective of these theoretical currents.
Some of the subjects can deal with (although not exclusively):
- The impact of the scientific-technical transformations on the reconfiguration of museum institutions, knowledge institutions, archives, and so on.
- How the accounts of development (progress, colonialism, industrialism, and so on) were articulated with the emergence of certain aesthetics, visual regimes and technologies associated with the media.
- How material culture contains our desires for progress, utopias and dystopias, ruins and failures, and which myths persist and which myths are transformed throughout history.
- How the perspective provided by Media Archaeology provides counter-hegemonic accounts in contrast to the narratives characteristic of the technophile or technophobic account of the (new) media.
- Analysis of case studies, their contexts and the material conditions in which media, artefacts or devices propose a reflection on their capacity for agency.
Artnodes is an open-access academic journal produced by the UOC since 2002. It is published twice a year, in June and December. Its articles come from public calls for scientific articles and are submitted to blind review by experts in the subject area of articles. The journal is indexed in Q2 de Scimago Journal & Country Rank (2016), Carhus Plus+, Scopus (Elsevier), MIAR, Latindex, etc. You can find more information here.