Digital Media Art in the Upper Rhine Valley.
Conservation – Restoration – Sustainability
Edmond Couchot

Edmond Couchot
Professor emeritus Université de Paris VIII

Historical time and „uchronic“ time.
Thinking memory and oblivion differently

The digital technologies (computers, global communication networks, multimedia, electronic games or art installations) have not merely changed our relationship with the world and the other, they have shaken our relationship with time and rocked the very foundations of our culture. We are torn between two temporalities. The first temporality belongs to chronic time, the longitudinal time of history, of the events absorbed and retained by writing, writing being what organises memory and oblivion. The second temporality belongs to machines and plunges us in a time outside of time, that virtual or „uchronic“ time where events give way to eventualities. What happens to our world when writing, which has guaranteed the permanence of history until now, conforms to the model of hypertext and splits? When the thread which history spans from past and present to the future threatens to tear under the pressure of „uchronic“ time? Are we to reinvent our relationship to time? What are the consequences of this change of temporality for the conservation of digital art works and for the sphere of art more generally?



Edmond Couchot is „Docteur d’État“ and „Professeur émérite des universités“. He has directed the master studies in art and technology of the image at the Université Paris 8 for twenty years and continues to participate in research activities at the Centre for Digital Imagery and Virtual Reality. As a theorist he is interested in the relations between art and technology and has published about a hundred articles on the subject as well as four books: Images. De l’optique au numérique, Hermès, 1988, La Technologie dans l’art, J. Chambon, 1998 et L’Art numérique, en collaboration avec N. Hillaire, Flammarion, février 2003, et Des images, du temps et des machines dans les arts et la communication, Chambon-Actes Sud, 2007. Dialogues sur l’art et la technologie. Autour d’Edmond Couchot, L’Harmattan, 2001, presents a series of features on his work.

The project is supported by:
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