Minna Tarkka

Trouble in the Media Archive: Hybrid Practices, Hybrid Discourses

lecture given at the workshop "online-archives: perspectives on networked knowledge spaces"

Minna Tarkka

Minna Tarkka


Media Files


m-cult, the centre for new media culture in Finland is involved in research, development and production activities ranging from practice and policy research to culturally and socially driven R&D and events – from thematic workshops to large conferences such as the ISEA2004 symposium.

While working towards its long term plan of establishing a physical centre for media culture in Helsinki, ‚m-cult‘ has concentrated on research, networking, gathering and publishing information online and in print. ‚Mediumi‘, the online journal for media culture has created a forum for critical discourse on information society. ‚m-cult.net‘, information and communication resource for new media culture contains actor and event databases as well as a weblog and a list digest.

The hybridity of new media culture is a challenge for developing such online archives for information and communication. In my talk,
I will address the twofold character of this hybridity: the hybridity of practices and the hybridity of discourses. Working in, and speaking of a multidisciplinary, socio-technical field, translations become transformations, and implementation requires interpretation.

The questions to be raised relate, of course, to politics: the politics of naming, categories and standards are present also in the technical decisions to be made in building online archives. If the travelling of objects across communities of practice requires the creation of ‘boundary objects’ – weakly structured, ambiguous but constant formations (Bowker & Star 1999) – what is lost in creating them? Can we create an accurate model of new media culture by machine-based contextual deduction? Or is there a solution to be
found in the creation of intelligent metadata and relation models?

Artists / Authors



Fraunhofer Institute for Media Communication MARS-Exploratory Media Lab




Schloss Birlinghoven, Sankt Augustin, Germany


» http://netzspannung.…hops/online-archives/


, Apr 9, 2003