Experiments with time: the technical image in media art and the digital humanities

Barker, T. (2017) Experiments with time: the technical image in media art and the digital humanities. Visual Communication, 16(4), pp. 375-394. (doi:10.1177/1470357217702360)

Barker, T. (2017) Experiments with time: the technical image in media art and the digital humanities. Visual Communication, 16(4), pp. 375-394. (doi:10.1177/1470357217702360)

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Abstract

In this article, the author begins to identify a new way to understand the experiment in arts and humanities research. Focusing on the production of what Vilém Flusser calls ‘technical images’ in video art and new media projects, he suggests that the experiment in experimental art may be rethought as a method for testing concepts and observations through the application of media technology as an apparatus. The technical image is a time-critical way to understand automatic image making devices and using this method of analysis he identifies examples where artists and humanities scholars have programmed devices to experiment with the time of contemporary media culture. Beginning with an analysis of Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin’s two works Listening Post and Moveable Type, the author uses a number of examples, from contemporary experiments with digital media to the experiments with video in the 1970s and 1980s, to show how artists and humanities scholars have used technical images to engage in experimental research outside the controlled laboratory of scientific experiments. If experimental scientists test scientific problems by developing, programming and applying an apparatus, the experimental artists identified in this article can likewise be seen to test aesthetic and cultural problems by similarly redesigning, scaling-up and experimentally applying media technology.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barker, Dr Timothy
Authors: Barker, T.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Journal Name:Visual Communication
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:1470-3572
ISSN (Online):1741-3214
Published Online:26 September 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Author
First Published:First published in Visual Communication 16(4): 375-394
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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