The Department of Media Theory exists as an arena of research, reflection and pursuit for students, academics, and artists. We regard the present against the long historical experience of once-new media (photography, film, video, etc.) and thereby cast a fresh look at the newness of “new” media. And in turn, via the lenses of the latest media and their technologies, we see old media anew.
A medium is more than a technical support, and cannot be reduced to its physical properties alone. It is rather understood as a complex, interlocking system of discursive, institutional, textual, spectatorial and technical aspects. To shift the focus from the individual medium to the relational nature of media configurations brings these interpenetrating aspects to the fore.
Besides providing the theoretical, methodological and historical foundations of media studies, research and teaching at the Department of Media Theory engages with a diverse spectrum of media and their respective dispositives (the term we use for those “complex, interlocking systems”). Areas of focus include:
– The dynamic and expanding field of “moving image-based art,” from experimental film, experimental animation and hybrid forms (moving images combined with painting, photography, performance, sculpture, etc.) to “artists’ moving images” in a gallery or museum;
– image/sound relations in audiovisual practices anchored in artistic contexts;
– video art and its overlapping with film, music and TV;
– documentary (film/video) and its modes of production (collective, participatory, independent, etc.); documentary work as artistic strategy;
– audiovisual media production as artistic research;
– methods and methodologies of media studies.
The Department’s triple focus on theory, history and art practice also emphasizes artistic research. The Department currently hosts two outstanding projects funded by the Austrian Science Fund’s Program for Arts-based Research and is involved in several ongoing national and international research collaborations.
The Department of Media Theory seeks to actively contribute to creating a non-discriminatory working environment and atmosphere that enables critical and heterogeneous research and teaching of the highest quality.