Memory in Motion (double lecture with Pasi Väliaho and Wolfgang Ernst)

How do technologies change the way we remember?  In a double lecture organized by the Seminar of Aesthetics and The Archive in Motion, Pasi Väliaho and Wolfgang Ernst address how memory is set in motion, from early cinema to contemporary memory culture.

Please note: the lectures begin at 1 o'clock sharp (NOT at 13:15)!

Wolfgang Ernst: Liquefying the Archive / Sonification of Memory

“Liquefying the archive” describes the current softening of the once well-defined institutional archive into more flexible forms of existence. This happens technologically when the “digital” archive, instead of representing a traditional container, becomes a fluid format for perpetual migration and aims at getting independent from specific technologies and operating systems. On the discursive level the archive has been ”opened“ up to name all kinds of storage, to the point where it becomes almost identical with the data circulation and communication diagrams of the present. In this way, what used to be called ”the archive“ is brought closer to the dynamics of a remembrance whose multiple tempor(e)alities are musical in character. Sonic time machines represent an-archival forms of up-dating storage and memory (re-)circulation. This diagnosis of contemporary memory culture will be examplified with reference to the electronic (analog), symbolical (digital) and material heritage of Erkki Kurenniemi (and others, such as Friedrich Kittler).

Pasi Väliaho: Screens of Forgetting

This talk addresses how the question about the modulability of memory has haunted the aesthetics and politics of moving image media ever since the beginning of cinema. Focusing on both early filmic forms and present-day virtual reality applications, it investigates screen technologies with respect to the psychological rationalities and practices of therapy within which the administration and regulation of remembering and forgetting—in the realm of traumatic memory in particular—has been differently conceived during the past 150 years.


Wolfgang Ernst is Professor and Chair of Media Theories at the Institute for Musicology and Media Studies, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin. His most recent books are Das Gesetz des Gedächtnisses: Medien und Archive am Ende (Kulturverlag Kadmos, 2007), Chronopoetik: Zeitweisen und Zeitgaben technischer Medien (Kulturverlag Kadmos, 2013), and Digital Memory and the Archive (University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

Pasi Väliaho is Senior Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies at Department of Media & Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Mapping the Moving Image: Gesture, Thought and Cinema circa 1900 (Amsterdam University Press, 2010). His articles have appeared in e.g. Theory, Culture & Society, Space & Culture, Parallax, Theory & Event and Symplokê.

Published May 2, 2013 11:46 AM - Last modified May 2, 2013 11:54 AM