This was a very interesting talk, filled with lots of information, delivered by Charotte Frost, an art historian of Digital Technology and New Media. She talked about the ways in which digital technology might impact both the form but also the content of the art history/criticism/theory book. Using the combined archival theories of Foucault, Derrida and Kittler, the talk linked meaning between art historical texts and memory. She asked big questions, relevant to librarians and archivists about how dissemination of a text (how it's stored and transferred) also influences and adds new meaning to it, what is referred to as "archival technicity."
I think her most interesting points were that archival technicity not just stores knowledge, it informs it. Art history as a discipline is partly understood through the logic of archival technicity, that is that the medium is the message. After examining past technologies of photography and the printed text, she ended with a big question: what do new archival technologies mean to the discipline of art history? Frost brought some examples of online art discussion platforms and the way in which they engage their audience. She then specifically talked about innovative approaches to academic publishing – including her own series Arts Future Book. She also talked about her website DigitalCritic and an online resource for academic book publishing advice for PhD and early career academics.
She was a good, engaging speaker. Because Frost's topic was quite dense, it's a pity she was scheduled as the last speaker on a very, long first day when many people are ready for dinner, and willing everyone else to only ask short questions.