Skip to the content

Opening up the black boxes: Media archaeology, 'anarchaeology' and media materiality

Goddard, MN 2014, 'Opening up the black boxes: Media archaeology, 'anarchaeology' and media materiality' , New Media and Society .

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (413kB) | Request a copy


This article examines the emergent field of media archaeology as offering a materialist approach to new media and specifically the Internet, constituting a ‘travelling discipline’ or ‘indiscipline’ rather than a new disciplinary paradigm. Following the lead of Siegfried Zielinski (2006) it provides less an archaeology than an ‘anarachaeology’ of media archaeology, understanding this term in political as well as methodological terms. To do so it charts a trajectory through some of the sources of media archaeology, and its key theoretical articulations in the work of Zielinski and Friedrich Kittler up to its more recent articulations in the work of Jussi Parikka and Wolfgang Ernst. It uses this theoretical trajectory to illuminate some of the key problematics of media archaeology, in terms of both its practical application as a form of ‘theoretical circuit breaking’ (Hertz and Parikka 2010), and its most imaginative speculations as not only a material but even a geological approach to media as evident in Parikka’s most recent work, by way of such phenomena as the ‘vernacular Web’ (Lialina, 2005) and the problematics of e-waste. Throughout it pays close attention to the value of media archaeology as a set of methods for new media research in relation to more established methodologies in media studies ranging from medium histories to cultural studies. In particular, it argues for articulating media archaeological approaches with media ecological ones, in order to bring out more clearly both the political stakes of the field and its potential contribution to studies of digital media

Item Type: Article
Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: New Media and Society
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1461-4448
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: MN Goddard
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2014 18:02
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 01:01

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year