Reframe: Considering Screens to Reconfigure Postmedia

by Charu Maithani

e: charumaithani@gmail.com

This podcast is of a seminar presented by Charu Maithani at UNSW Australia for SSSN on 29th August 2017. Charu’s paper is followed by a question and answer session facilitated by Melanie Robson and involving the audience present on the day.

Charu Maithani is a Ph.D. student at UNSW Art & Design. Her recent publications include “Searching for Subjectivities in Video installations of Amar Kanwar” in ARTisON journal and “Error / Glitch / Noise: Observations on Aesthetic Forms of Failure” in Information (2016, ed. Sarah Cook, Whitechapel Gallery / MIT Press). Her ongoing project is http://proprioception.in a web based platform for experimental moving image practices and browser-based net art from India.

Since the widespread uptake of digital media from the late 1990s onwards, the screen has not only been used to view images but also to create them, enabling new gestures, behaviours and experiences previously unfamiliar to us. In this way, the screen has come to take on additional functions in the postmedia age. It has also become a category that connects different media rather than a medium or a platform. This paper asks, can screens be studied as a new way to reconfigure postmedia? Postmedia revised the traditional media, adding new methods for the production and reception of art. In the convergence of media and digital technologies, postmedia also lacks heuristic value. With their materiality, historic lineage, and pervasive property, screens can be a potential initiator to the reconfiguration of postmedia. This paper will analyse the legacy of screens from media to postmedia through two main areas, frame and materiality, in order to establish the inter-medial abilities of the contemporary screen. This will be done by reviewing methods of image production and display in the practices of artists, filmmakers, and visual technologists that present instances of the screen’s key role in the reorganisation of certain relations – that is between viewers, producers, and interactants – in the postmedia condition.

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