edited by Joasia Krysa and Jussi Parikka – Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History: Erkki Kurenniemi in 2048


The MIT Press, ISBN-13: 978-0262029582, English, 368 pages, 2015, USA

More so than now, there have been other times in history when humanity started to think less about the present and even less about the future, and looked for inspiration in the past. Investigating unsung heroes and forgotten technologies, rewriting history and possibly shedding a new light on possible futures is a recurring possibility and the media archeology field of study is currently revamping this point. Erkki Kurenniemi is one figure who would be otherwise unknown. He doesn’t fit any definition, being a musician, filmmaker, computer animator, artist, futurologist, etc., but his prolific production over a number of decades constitutes an original body of work that can easily qualify him as both a pioneer and a visionary, despite not being celebrated in official events nor academic circles. His work has been acknowledged internationally by an exhibition at Documenta 13 curated by Joasia Krysa, who edits this anthology with help from Jussi Parikka, a renowned media archeology scholar. The selection of texts reflects Kurenniemi’s heterogeneity well, hosting plenty of his own texts (mostly translated for the first time) and quite a few papers and conversations about him by other authors. The book challenges the reader to interpret Kurenniemi and his symbolic involvement in different disciplines, including his feverish daily archiving activities and the (re)invention of audio visual machines. The impact of this work is amplified, implicitly reinforcing both present complexity and future uncertainty.