A Techno-Aesthetic Critique of Anglo-American Moving Image Cataloging in an Online Environment; or, The Secondary Stage of Knowledge in a Thermodynamic Theory of History

Joshua Ranger

The current state of moving image cataloging is a result of its history and of the technology used to perform and distribute it. A review of this history and its technologies leads to a critique of this current late secondary state — a stage of dispersal and experiment that is working towards a more cohesive tertiary stage.

The relative successes and failures of this secondary stage will directly affect the successes and failures, as well as the lifespan, of the tertiary phase. At question is the intersection of history, technology, and aesthetics: how they influence the development of each other and how those developments have been expressed in moving image cataloging — especially now in widely accessible online catalogs. These expressions inhabit the underlying structure of online cataloging systems as well as the external interface of the system: the ability to retrieve information is as much a part of the user's interaction with the structure as with the aesthetic interaction of the system. At stake is nothing less than how, in our current episteme, we know and how technologies of knowledge affect and are affected by how we know.

Friday, April 6th, 2:30 PM
Room 909
Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square South