Wendy Hui Kyong Chun

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun


November 6, 2008 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM

Making Things Disappear: The Paradoxical Promise of New Media

New media, like the computer technology on which it relies, races  
simultaneously towards the future and the past, towards what we might  
call the bleeding edge of obsolescence. The slipperiness of new media—
the difficulty of engaging it in the present—is linked to the speed  
of its dissemination.  Also key to the digital as the new is a  
rhetorical conflation of memory and storage that both underlies and  
undermines digital media's archival promise.  Memory, with its  
constant degeneration, does not equal storage; although artificial  
memory has historically combined the transitory with the permanent,  
the passing with the stable, digital media complicates this  
relationship by making the permanent into an enduring ephemeral.

In collaboration with EMPAC, curated by Michael Century.

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About the Artist

Wendy Chun is an associate professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She has studied both Systems Design Engineering and English Literature, which she combines and mutates in her current work on digital media. She is author of "Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics" (MIT, 2006), and co-editor (with Thomas Keenan) of "New Media, Old Media: A History and Theory Reader" (Routledge, 2005). She has been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard and a Wriston Fellow at Brown. She was a visiting scholar and visiting associate professor in the History of Science Department at Harvard 2006-2007. She is currently working on a monograph entitled "Programmed Visions: Software, DNA, Race" (forthcoming MIT, 2008).


Unable to make the event?  It will be broadcast live via webstream.


About the series OUT OF TIME

In this era of convergence between computers, networks and new media software, we bear witness across diverse fields to a newly intensified obsession with how time passes. In this context, we may speak of being "out of time", in at least three senses:  that of an ever-present countdown toward environmental disaster; the everyday sense of being behind, of lacking the capacity to concentrate and contemplate; and, to the contrary, of escaping the lockstep regimentation of clock time to find renewal or even redemptive hope in experiences of an expanded present, of an enlivened sense of the possible. The iEAR series for Fall 2008 presents a tour d'horizon of thinking and creating about being out of time, in all these senses, and more.  

Co-sponsored with EMPAC.

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