Media Archaeology as Symptom
Thomas Elsaesser, University of Amsterdam/Columbia University
April 16, 2018 · 4:30 pm — 6:00 pm · 010 East Pyne
On Monday, April 16, the Humanities Council will 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.
Thomas Elsaesser is Professor Emeritus at the University of Amsterdam and since 2013 teaches part-time at Columbia University, New York. Among his most recent books are: The Persistence of Hollywood (New York: Routledge, 2012), German Cinema – Terror and Trauma: Cultural Memory Since 1945 (New York: Routledge, 2013), Film Theory: An Introduction through the Senses (New York: Routledge, 2nd edition 2015, with Malte Hagener) and Film History as Media Archaeology (Amsterdam University Press, 2016). In press: European Cinema and Continental Philosophy: Film as Thought Experiment (Bloomsbury, 2018)