By Wolfgang Ernst

Within the renowned mind's eye, documents are distant, mostly out of date associations: both antiquated, unavoidably dusty libraries or sinister repositories of private secrets and techniques maintained by means of police states. but the archive is now a ubiquitous characteristic of electronic existence. instead of being deleted, e-mails and different laptop records are archived. Media software program and cloud garage permit for the instant cataloging and Read more...

summary: within the well known mind's eye, files are distant, principally out of date associations: both antiquated, unavoidably dusty libraries or sinister repositories of private secrets and techniques maintained via police states. but the archive is now a ubiquitous function of electronic lifestyles. instead of being deleted, e-mails and different machine records are archived. Media software program and cloud garage permit for the on the spot cataloging and upkeep of information, from song, pictures, and movies to private info accrued by way of social media sites.In this electronic panorama, the archival-oriented media theori

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Although never entirely divorced from the analytical text, Bann’s visual examples support his exegesis, which the reader-spectator can follow in a directly participatory way. 20 Indeed, the cold archaeological gaze, in its antiquarian mode (and culminating photographically in publications displaying a technological objectivism, such as William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature of 1844),21 is opposed to another kind of aesthetic archaeology, that developed by Johann Joachim Winckelmann in his prosopopoetic concern with animating a stone fragment, the Torso of Belvedere.

36 When the literary strategies of historiography are replaced by properly technological means for signaling the purity of the historical code, the rhetoric of media (which is a technological form of dissimulatio artis, a dissimulation of the mechanistic apparatus) replaces the former episteme. ”37 Ranke’s ambition to let archival documents speak for themselves and his determination to use nothing but original sources found their visual equivalent in the media-epistemological fiction of an unmediated record of the reality of the past.

Or, to put it another way, was there a smooth evolutionary progression from etching to lithography to photography, or was there rather a dramatic break as a result of the difference between genuinely technological media, such as photography, and earlier cultural technologies? There is a strict epistemological difference between light as painted on canvas to create an illusion of history mystically illuminated from within, as in Joseph Gandy’s painting Merlin’s Tomb or in Daguerre’s Ruins of Holyrood Chapel, dating from 1824, and photographic light tracing as “the pencil of nature” (to quote William Henry Fox Talbot).

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