Archaeology of Immersive Media

An Illustrated Lecture by Erkki Huhtamo
Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 7:00pm

Performed throughout the 1800s, moving panoramas were among the most popular entertainment of the 19th century. In this lecture-demonstration, scholar and media archeologist Erkki Huhtamo draws on his research into moving panoramas and dioramas to discuss various historical apparata that laid the groundwork for 20th and 21st century immersive applications, including those created by media artists. The particular focus of this presentation will be on the Maréorama, a huge multi-sensory spectacle created by Hugo d'Alesi and his team for the Universal Exposition of 1900 in Paris. Using illustrations from his collection and original piano music composed for the Maréorama by Henri Kowalski, Huhtamo reconstructs several sequences from this simulated sea voyage on the Mediterranean. Featuring live piano accompaniment by David Drazin.

Erkki Huhtamo was born in Helsinki, Finland and works as a professor of media history and theory at UCLA. He has published extensively on media archaeology, an emerging approach he pioneered. Professor Huhtamo's most recent books are Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications (co-edited with Jussi Parikka, University of California Press, 2011) and a forthcoming monograph titled Illusions in Motion: a Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles.

Coordinated by Artemis Willis, Ph.D candidate, Department of Cinema & Media Studies in conjunction with Professor Tom Gunning's Seminar in the Moving and Projected Image.

Sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.