The Poetics and Politics of Obsolescence

Jueves 3 de agosto – 6:00 – 7:30 P.M.
Auditorio – CCBorges-UNTREF
Simultaneous Translation
Keynote Speaker:Thomas Elsaesser
Presented by: Pablo Piedras

The term ‘obsolescence’ has in recent years reentered the vocabulary of both the art world and
of new media historians, and in the process, it has significantly changed its meaning and enlarged
its semantic and evaluative range. From being a wholly negative term within a technicist discourse,
it became a critical term when consumerism was attacked for ‘planned obsolescence’.
Now obsolescence has shifted into the realm of the positive, signifying something like heroic resistance
to relentless new-ness or superficial novelty, even becoming the badge of honor for all that is no longer being useful (for capitalism, for
appropriation, for instrumentalization). For anyone engaged with found footage or analogue film technology, the strategic use of obsolescence lies in the fact that, being a term that inevitably associates both capitalism and technology, it is of special interest in the context of the art world, of documentary and of media archaeology because it implicitly acknowledges that today there is no creative work outside capitalism and technology. Both historical and critical thinking needs to take account of this fact.