[ISEA2011] Panel: An­dreas Kratky – The Birth of Mem­ory from the Spirit of the Ma­chine

Panel Statement

Panel: Transmedia Narrative: Modes of Digital Scholarship and Design Across Public Space

The com­puter is a ma­chine of the fu­ture – not only do we still at­tach to it the con­no­ta­tion of tech­no­log­i­cal so­phis­ti­ca­tion and fu­ture ori­en­ta­tion, also in its func­tion as an in­for­ma­tion pro­cess­ing ma­chine it only deals with the pre­sent, cal­cu­lat­ing to­wards to fu­ture. Being solely aware of its cur­rent state and the tran­si­tion rules of how to move to­wards the next state the com­puter is an in­her­ently am­nesic ma­chine. The mem­ory com­ple­ment to this in­for­ma­tion proces­sor is the data­base, adding the op­tion to store data and keep them shielded from the on­go­ing mem­ory era­sure. But as it is part of the regime of the pre­sent the data­base of­fers its records as co-pre­sent, elim­i­nat­ing the no­tion of the past as a time vec­tor span­ning dif­fer­ent chrono­log­i­cal in­stances from past, to fu­ture.  The paper ex­plores how the pro­ject “Bleed­ing Through – Lay­ers of Los An­ge­les 1920-1986” uses the pres­ence-struc­ture of the ma­chine to con­struct an al­le­gory of the process of re­mem­ber­ing and the era­sure of mem­ory in the in­ter­play of per­sonal rec­ol­lec­tion and col­lec­tive mem­ory. In­spired by Nor­man Klein’s “His­tory of For­get­ting” we de­vised a process within which el­e­ments from the past end­lessly fold upon them­selves in a vir­tual nav­i­ga­tion through Down­town Los An­ge­les. Using sig­ni­fy­ing chains fol­low­ing the con­cept of Markov chains we are de­vis­ing a mech­a­nism that touches on the sub­con­scious processes of mean­ing cre­ation de­scribed by Jacques Lacan.

  • An­dreas Kratky, born in Berlin (DE), lives and works in Berlin  and Los An­ge­les. He stud­ied vi­sual com­mu­ni­ca­tion, fine arts, and phi­los­o­phy in the Hum­boldt Uni­ver­sity, the Uni­ver­sity of the Arts in Berlin, the Ecole na­tionale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and the Uni­ver­sity of Paris 1, Pan­theon-Sor­bonne. An­dreas Kratky is a media artist and vis­it­ing as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor in the In­ter­ac­tive Media Di­vi­sion of the School for Cin­e­matic Arts of the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. His work com­prises sev­eral award win­ning pro­jects like “That’s Kyo­gen”, the in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tion and DVD “Bleed­ing Through – Lay­ers of Los An­ge­les 1920-1986”, the al­go­rith­mic cin­ema sys­tem “Soft Cin­ema”, and the in­ter­ac­tive cos­tume pro­jec­tion in the opera “The Jew of Malta”. His work has been shown in­ter­na­tion­ally in Eu­rope, the USA and Japan in in­sti­tu­tions like the ICA in Lon­don, ICC in Tokyo, HDKW in Berlin, Cen­tre George Pom­pi­dou in Paris, or Red­CAT in Los An­ge­les. His cur­rent work com­prises the in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tion “The Imag­i­nary Twen­ti­eth Cen­tury” and “Ven­ture to the In­te­rior”. Pre­vi­ously An­dreas Kratky has worked in the ZKM | Cen­ter for Art and Media in Karl­sruhe, Ger­many, where he was the head of the Mul­ti­me­dia Stu­dio. He also worked as a mem­ber of the re­search ini­tia­tive “Labyrinth Pro­ject”, an or­ga­nized re­search unit of the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, where he de­signed the in­stal­la­tion and in­ter­ac­tive DVD “Three Win­ters in the Sun – Ein­stein in Cal­i­for­nia”. Work­ing with the re­search ini­tia­tive “An­ar­chive”, an or­ga­nized re­search unit of the Uni­ver­sity of Paris 1, Pan­theon-Sor­bonne, he de­signed the in­ter­ac­tive DVD “Title TK” in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the French the­o­rist and video artist Thierry Kuntzel. Be­sides nu­mer­ous works pub­lished as in­ter­ac­tive media on DVD and in art cat­a­logues, Kratky has pub­lished var­i­ous texts on his re­search work in human com­puter in­ter­ac­tion, in­ter­face de­sign, and the di­dac­tic use of in­ter­ac­tive media. Kratky has won sev­eral awards for his work and held res­i­den­cies in the ZKM in Karl­sruhe, Ger­many, and the Baltic Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts, Gateshead, UK.  venture-to-the-interior.com

Full text (PDF) p. 1414-1419