[ISEA98] Panel: Maria Fernandez – Post-Colonial Electronic Media Theory?

Panel Statement

Panel: Revolution of the Public Sphere

During the last two decades post-colonial studies and electronic media theory have developed in parallel to one another but with very few points of intersection. This paper suggests that the two fields have had opposing goals. Post-colonial studies have been concerned primarily with European imperialism and its effects. ln the eighties and early nineties, electronic media theory was concerned with establishing the electronic as a valid and even dominant area of artistic practice a function which might be seen as colonizing.

A survey of critical writing in the two areas discloses an overwhelming preoccupation with issues of the body, subjectivity, identity, history and agency which could be used imaginatively towards common ends. The theorization of topics such as feminism, place, community, race and representation at present seem to be at odds in the two fields. Can Post-colonial and Electronic media theory be productively reconciled? What obstacles stand in the way of such a reconciliation? This paper will examine these issues as a √ćirst step towards imag(in)ing, theorizing and performing a post-colonial electronic media theory or an electronic media theory of postcoloniality.

  • Maria Fernandez (USA),¬†Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg.