This research explores how contemporary media artists are conceptualizing, materializing and grappling with “temporal aesthetics” through their artworks and practices of making.
The relationship between temporality and the media arts is well documented (Sutton 2009). Within this trajectory of thought, analogue media devices and the recordings that they produce are typically framed as a means through which to expose, modulate and re-animate the passing flows of human time. As numerous leading media theorist have recently demonstrated, this is changing (Hansen 2015; Parikka 2012; Stiegler 2010). Contemporary digital media are no longer merely retention-oriented memory devices, reenacting the past in the present. Nor are they limited to the imaginative projections of tertiary memory (Stiegler 2009). Instead, they have become incisive means through which to computationally materialize, legitimized, and respond to a future-present.
Much of the existing work on the time of new media, has concerned itself almost exclusively with the theoretical dimensions of bourgeoning media temporalities, with very little consideration of the everyday or creative practices that they engender. As a result, novel contributions to the field might best be sought through material engagement with grounded media practices.
This research explores how contemporary media artists are conceptualizing, materializing and grappling with “temporal aesthetics” through their artworks and practices of making. It brings together emerging theorizations of media temporality with arts-based methods in order to map a grounded account of temporality across analogue, digital and post-digital media works. This project will be grounded within 6 month-long artist/researcher residency programs (offered by the lab) that take temporality as their guiding principle. Drawing upon a critical analysis of the works produced, as well as process-oriented interviews conducted with the artist-participants, it will theoretically engage with the implications that these aestheticizations have for how contemporary modes of media temporality are understood.