Archéologie des Media, Écologies de l'Attention was a week-long symposium at the Centre Culturel International de Cerisy, June 2016
Direction: Yves Citton, Jeff Guess, Emmanuel Guez, Martial Poirson and Gwenola Wagon
The attention that we pay to the diverse objects which make up our contemporary world condition the ways in which we behave. If issues related to attention economies are very popular today, it is important to understand the immense diversity of attention ecologies developed by human societies, inherited from the past, coexisting in our present and others which map and chart out our futures. Of course, as soon as our different forms of attention (individual, shared, collective) are mediated by technical infrastructures (from the pulpit, the book, the newspaper, cinema, radio, TV, to personal computers, smartphones and Google Glass), one cannot grasp these attentional ecologies without studying the media environments which form their conditions of possibility.
A new field of research has emerged over the last twenty years, Media Archaeology, the ambition of which is to shed new light on the most recent media and attentional transformations (brought forth by digitalization), illuminating them with what we have uncovered from the forgotten layers of material practices, devices and media imaginaries from a more or less distant past. Via a bewildering back and forth between a long buried past and emergent futures, and through the constant interaction between scholarly research and artistic experimentation, Media Archaeology is the most promising method towards finding new avenues in the exploration of our attention ecologies.
A publication is forthcoming, Université de Grenoble Alpes Press, fall 2018