PUBLIC LECTURE: Media Archaeology As Topos Study

by Professor Erkki Huhtamo, University of California Los Angeles.
Friday April 29th, 10:15-12:00, Lille Auditorium, Incuba Science Park

This lecture discusses media archaeology by developing a theoretical-historical contextualization of the topos, a notion adopted from the literary scholar Ernst Robert Curtius and turned into a “tool” for explaining the recurrence of clichés and commonplaces in media culture. Huhtamo has applied the idea to various media forms ranging from “peep media” and the moving panorama to mobile media. In this intervention the approach will be delineated theoretically, discussing its predecessors and demonstrating how it can be applied to various facets of media culture. The task is identifying topoi, analyzing their trajectories and transformations, and explaining the cultural ‘logics’ that condition their ‘wanderings’ across time and space. Topoi are discursive “engines” that mediate themes, forms, and fantasies across cultural traditions. Predictably, they have become a tool in the hands of the culture industry


Erkki Huhtamo is Professor of Media History and Theory at the Department of Design | Media Arts, University of California Los Angeles. He has a PhD in cultural history. He has published extensively on media archaeology and media arts, curated international media art exhibitions, and directed television programs on media culture. His media-archaeological studies have covered topics such as peep media,the archaeology of the screen, tactile media, arcade video games, and mobile media. His new books are Media Archaeology (co-edited with Jussi Parikka, University of California Press, 2011) Illusions in Motion: a Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama (The MIT Press,forthcoming in 2012).

Hosted by:
Center for Digital Urban Living (DUL) &
Digital Aesthetics Research Center (DARC)


Contact Info

Center for Digital Urban Living
Aarhus University
Helsingforsgade 14
DK-8200 Aarhus N

Tel. (+45) 8942 9205
Fax (+45) 8942 9201