Roads to Recursion. Some historiographical remarks on a core category of Media Art

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Slavko Kacunko


In this paper, the general arena between analogue and digital media art is explored with special respect to the concept of the ‘newness’ of media. The first part confirms the Closed Circuit as an ‘open system’ related to its right to an evolution towards increasing complexity without the reciprocal playing-off of self-referential ‘life’ against ‘hetero-referential’ technique. The second part refers to the continuity of research undertaken in media, art and art-history and discussion in related fields while the concepts of ‘new’ media have repeatedly admitted the Closed Circuit as a core category in ‘New’ Media Art. The third part introduces one content-related categorization of Closed Circuit video installations which has been regarded as representative for the general ‘fields of inquiry’ of both analogue and digital media art. 


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Kacunko, Slavko. 2014. «Roads to Recursion. Some Historiographical Remarks on a Core Category of Media Art». Revista ICONO 14. Revista científica De Comunicación Y Tecnologías Emergentes 12 (2). Madrid, ES:70-85.
Biografía del autor/a

Slavko Kacunko, Professor in Art History and Visual Culture, Copenhagen University

Slavko Kacunko (Ph.D., Dr. habil.) is the author of Spiegel. Medium. Kunst (Fink, 2010). His Closed Circuit Videoinstallationen (Logos, 2004) is described as a “milestone in the history of media art” and “the pivotal source book for the decades to come”. His Marcel Odenbach. Konzept, Performance, Video, Installation (Chorus, 1999) is described as an “Art history pioneer achievement in the field of video art” and awarded with the DRUPA-prize 2000.

Kacunko is Professor for Art History and Visual Culture at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies (IKK), University of Copenhagen and a Co-Director of the Micro Human Initiative. His work has been published in German, English and Croatian and has been translated into Polish, Japanese, and Spanish. Kacunko has furthermore authored monographsWiederholung, Differenz und infinitesimale Ästhetik. Matthias Neuenhofer (2012), Las Meninas Transmedial (VDG 2001), Dieter Kiessling (2001), as well as over 40 articles.
Key foci of his scientific profile are Processual Arts (video, performance, installation, net art), Visual Studies and its Boundaries, an interdisciplinary Art History and World Heritage as well as the Historical Dimensions of the Aesthetical Discourse. For his interdisciplinary approaches in Art History and Media Studies he received international recognition.

Kacunko was born in Osijek in Croatia, former Yugoslavia where he studied art history, philosophy and pedagogy. He moved to Germany in 1993 and received a Ph.D. from the University of Düsseldorf (1999). His Ph.D. dissertation (summa cum laude) traces the origins of video, installation and performance art and was the first dissertation on one German video artist. He received the post-doctoral qualification (habilitation with venia legendi for Art History) from the University of Osnabrück with a thesis on the History and Theory of Media Art (2006).
Kacunko has co-founded the first art magazine in Croatia, "Kontura" in 1991 and has been working as a curator, art critics and correspondent as well as lecturer and professor for art history, visual studies, media aesthetics and new philology / media studies. He organized exhibitions, conferences, colloquia and screenings since 1993. Since 2000 he works in the field of artist-based research related to the media of photography, video, bio-media as well as the natural and cultural World Heritage together with Sabine Kacunko.

He received grants from Andrea von Braun Stiftung, Fritz-Thyssen Stifting, Messe Düsseldorf, Universität Düsseldorf, Lufthansa and Goethe Institute. Between 2003 and 2009, Kacunko was a Junior Professor for Art History of the Modern Period at the University of Osnabrück. In addition, Kacunko was a lecturer at Institute for New Philologies at the University of Frankfurt, at Center for Image Science at the Danube University Krems and a Visiting Professor at Institute for Art History, University of Düsseldorf.
Kacunko has a track record of collaborative research projects and networking at international level and has been successful in securing external funding. He has experience in project management, and the organization of international conferences. He has taught students of art, art history, media, film, visual communication, and cultural studies on all levels across both theory and practice orientated programs. He has served on expert panels and international research committees, and was asked to to contribute to international doctorate committees.


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