Media acts research group


The Media Acts research group explores what media do rather than what media are. Contributing to emerging approaches within media studies that investigate media agency beyond media determinism, we consider mediated forms of expressions in terms of the productive changes they introduce into the mediated situation.

Technological changes that involve digitization have been claimed to erase the differences among individual media and to fundamentally alter the conditions of perception and experience. In the art world, formerly dominant conceptions of media forms such as poetry, painting, sculpture and video art, have been replaced by the blurred domains of new media art. What, then, in the current situation, does the disputed concept of ‘medium’ mean? Certainly, media still matter – but why, how and in what ways?

The research undertaken by the group attests to the non-neutral roles of media and information technologies. More than vehicles of communication and channels of information, media are seen as providers of infrastructural conditions that co-shape our lived environment. Thus understood, ‘medium’ becomes a critical term, a perspective from which to analyze social change. By conceiving mediated forms of expression as performing media, we aim for fresh approaches to the old problems of image-text relations, media boundaries, and the ideological or political powers of media.

Members: Nina Lager Vestberg, Aud Sissel Hoel, Anne Gjelsvik and Sara Brinch


Our research areas: