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Media Archaeology as Symptom

Thomas Elsaesser, University of Amsterdam/Columbia University

April 16, 2018 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 010 East Pyne

Humanities Council

The Humanities Council host the final lecture in a new, seven-part, year-long speaker series about the field of Media Studies, Positions and Prospects, organized by Devin Fore (German). Thomas Elsaesser, University of Amsterdam/Columbia University, will deliver the talk.


For almost a hundred years, film has been discussed primarily from the perspective of photography: cinema either as a perceptual-ocular dispositif, based on light, projection (and sound), or as a recording dispositif, based on index, imprint and trace. If such a history implies the ‘death of cinema’ and cuts the past off from the present, what may be needed is an ‘archaeology’ alongside a history – in other words: different pasts to enable and acknowledge other futures. The paper will consider the changing presence of the moving image in art spaces and the tech-sector, using Harun Farocki’s work as both symptom and paradigm.

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