MEDIT Seminar: New materialism vs. cultural semiotics: Can we reach a synthesised way for theorising the ‘creativity' of media archives?

Speaker: Indrek Ibrus (Tallinn University)
Time: October 10, 14.15
Place: M-135

Much writing on, first, analogue and, later, digital archives has focused on related power-dynamics and the structuring effects of archives and their technologies on discursive freedom and cultural dynamics. In recent years, however, work within the media archaeology domain, especially by Wolfgang Ernst, has addressed how the specific materialities of digital archives, and the nature of their algorithms and particular functions, could be seen to facilitate dynamics in cultures. This presentation, based on a recent article published in Theory, Culture and Society by Indrek Ibrus and Maarja Ojamaa sets this work in dialogue with the cultural semiotics of Juri Lotman, whose late work focused on how communicative processes between and within different subsystems of culture facilitate their dynamic change and the production of new forms and cultural systems. The presentation will suggest further interdisciplinary dialogue between media archaeology and cultural semiotics in order to understand the role of archives in facilitating communicative processes and interlinking in culture and the emergence of novelties – that is, for understanding the ‘creativity’ of archives.

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