My work interrogates the concept of “new media,” questioning the newness of current technological media by working on projects that focus on old media at the moment they were new. Looking backward at the 19th century I find forgotten or obsolete machines and technologies which can cast relevant and surprising new perspectives on our current technological, social and economic world. By showing that all media were once new, I push back against ideas that privilege progress through technology narrowly determined by computers and machines. I want to expand what newness means when we think about new media, and I want to expand the visual languages used to talk about new media, by adopting an anachronistic methodology.
To emphasize concepts of oldness and newness, I make videos that historically reenact these older media through speculative dramatized scenes and hand-made craft aesthetics to produce complete worlds constructed of cardboard, paint and glue. My videos center around the differing materialities of the sets and props I make by hand, the actual actors performing within those sets, and the digital hardware and software used to capture the worlds I construct. Viewers must navigate the aesthetic tensions created between the virtual and the material worlds I conjure, while thinking through the similarities and differences between the obsolete technologies I research and today’s ubiquitous digital devices and the systems that support them.