"Media archaeology as an archival practice, with the mechanical theater as an example"

Date: 26 Aug. 2024
Time: 4.30 - 5.30 pm
Location: TBA

The lecture will discuss media archaeology from the speaker's own perspective, which focuses on topoi, commonplaces traveling through deep time within cultural traditions. Understanding and tracing topoi is a way of grasping how media culture and its myriad forms have gradually developed. The lecture will introduce media archaeology as topos study, or topos archaeology, and explain how it works by using the formative developments of the mechanical theater (or theatrum mundi) in the eighteenth century as an example. The lecture will give an idea about various issues the speaker has encountered in his years-long archival work, while researching "Mechanics, Marionettes, and Media: Mechanical Theaters, Fairground Networks, and the Lost Histories of Itinerant Exhibitors," his current book in progress.

About Erkki Huhtamo

Erkki Huhtamo is Professor of Design Media Arts, and Film, Television, and Digital Media at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He is a world renowned media scholar and a founding figure of media archaeology. He is also a major collector of items related to the early history of visual media. Professor Huhtamo has lectured worldwide, curated exhibitions, directed television programmes, and published widely in over ten languages. His most important book to date is Illusions in Motion: Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles (The MIT Press, 2013).