Media Times| Times of Literature, Times of the Machine: Poetic Media Archaeologies

Jesper Olsson


This article discusses the nexus of time and media in two works of contemporary literature—Evolution, by poets and artists Johannes Heldén and Håkan Jonson, and Fjärrskrift (“Distance Writing”), by writer Lotta Lotass. The works are read in relation to a broad and sometimes sweeping discourse on loss of time and history in contemporary culture, and they can be seen as examples of how innovative literary practice explores the problem of time and media today. Taking into account the thinking of scholars such as Siegfried Zielinski and others, I approach the works of Heldén/Jonson and Lotass as artistic examples of a poetic media archaeology in action—excavating the conditions and affordances of various media such as the book, the computer, the teleprinter, and film. From this viewpoint, and through the aesthetic potentials of literature, they can offer a more nuanced and differentiated account of the relationship between time and media than the discourse mentioned above, showing that our experiences of time are always constructed and modulated by the specific ecology of media at work in a historical situation.


time, temporality, media technologies, media archaeology, Johannes Heldén, Lotta Lotass, literature, poetry

Full Text: