Absences within and surrounding light-to-sound translations

Graziele Lautenschlaeger



Within the material-immaterial dichotomy structuring the creation of media artworks and its inherent informational aesthetic, one may observe fractures or continuities. Considering media artworks through the notion of translation of materialities, the aim of this paper is to analyse some of the multiple roles that absence play within and surround this sort of aesthetic experimentation. The discussion is unfolded through the articulation of Vilém Flusser’s media theory – namely considering the zero-dimensionality of electronic and digital media and the concept of Mediumsprünge. These concepts are exemplified through historical and contemporary media devices and artworks technically based on light-to-sound translations. The discussed examples were partially selected from references and methodological tools used in a cross-disciplinary practice-based PhD research on photosensitivity in relation to media history and media art history conducted between 2014 and 2018. The methodology combines a historical and analytical approach, through new materialism, media archaeology, cultural techniques and second-order cybernetics. The significance of the discussion is exposing both the artistic freedom (or emancipation) and the arbitrariness (and responsibility) implied in bridging the gaps involved in media artworks.


Absence; Zero-dimensionality; Black box; Translation of materialities; Media artworks.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7559/citarj.v10i3.565


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