digital media, visual history, space and futurity research
Undoings: Erasure and Negative Media Theory
Undoings is a book project that zeroes in on the tension between designing technologies that record and retain information on the one hand and the material and economic conditions that introduce erasure on the other hand. The project offers a historical and theoretical account of practices of erasing records from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. It engages with phonograph cylinders, early cinema, magnetic recording, typewriters, and digital media. Each chapter traces the prevailing logic of “designed ephemerality” that guides the production and marketing of new technologies to users.
Ultimately, media are—despite our better efforts to forget—material things. What comprises any type of recording substrate, from celluloid film reels to various components in the cloud's massive server farms, is finite. Storage space and storage capacity are accordingly limited. This investigation of innovation, bookending the long twentieth century, reveals a media economy that relies, to this day, on negation through discard, reuse, and editing. This is true of analog recording systems and even more so in the digital age, entails a balancing act between archiving and disappearing.
Non-human Vision // 2023 // Bar-Ilan
Theory and Digitality // 2023 // Bar-Ilan
Starting in Fall 2023, I will be a lecturer in the Hermeneutics & Cultural Studies Program at Bar-Ilan University. Currently, I am a member of the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Southern California, where I am affiliated with the Cinema and Media Studies at the School of Cinematic Arts.
My research interests are interdisciplinary and range from histories of recording and storage technologies to media theory, futurity, and digitality. I specialize in exploring the intersection of materiality, aesthetics, and history, studying diverse media objects that retain and shape our records of the past. Recently, I've been particularly interested in researching and teaching about outer space and its mediation.
In the past, I have held research positions in various academic institutions, including The Polonsky Academy at Van Leer Institute, Interactive Media Arts at New York University Shanghai, and the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen. I earned my Ph.D. from the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University.
contact email: ella[dot]klik[at]gmail[dot]com