Erkki Huhtamo: Tracing the Topoi, a Media Archaeologist's Notes

  • Location:
    SAIC Neiman Center, 37 S. Wabash Ave., Chicago, Illinois, 60603, US

The FVNMA Media Archeologies Institute at SAIC is honored to present Erkki Huhtamo to kick off the programming taking place this fall.

Erkki Huhtamo's media-historical excavations have established him as leading figure in the field of Media Archeology. His creative vision, thorough research, and unique style have helped to enlighten a media-saturated public on the genealogies that have been eclipsed or forgotten through the years. Huhtamo’s version of media archaeology is particularly concerned with excavating secret, forgotten, neglected, and suppressed histories. For his presentation at MAI, Huhtamo will draw from his work with topos study – which Huhtamo defines as as recurring discursive concepts, visual or audio, that can be traced cross-historically, and to various extents, cross-culturally – and present a selection of topoi associated with modern media technology such as the “hand of God,” permeable screen surfaces, the "cloud", and the relationship between 19th astronomical lanterns and stargazing apps available today on mobile phones.


The Film, Video, New Media, Animation department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago will present a series of lectures and workshops that will take place throughout the Fall 2013 semester. Its main objective being to provide a site for inquiry into the burgeoning field of Media Archeology. Leading figures in the field will visit SAIC and present their research and various theory-practice approaches within the Media Archeological framework in order to inform, inspire, and initiate media-art practitioners and researchers in Chicago. Participants are this fall are: Erkki Huhtamo, Lori Emerson, Chris Ottinger, Ben Fino-Radin, and Nick Briz. All lectures and workshops are free and open to the public.