The Social Life of a Private Technology: The Career of VHS as a Transitional Medium

The Social Life of a Private Technology: The Career of VHS as a Transitional Medium

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Dr. Krzysztof Swirek

University of Warsaw

26.5.2021, 18:30

online / zoom / youtube

We invite you to the online lecture by Krzysztof Swirek "The Social Life of a Private Technology: The Career of VHS as a Transitional Medium." This lecture launches the program "Urban Scraps: Space, Media and Visuality."

Today VHS tapes are for some technologic trash, for others an object of nostalgia. But thanks to its swift success (and nearly as fast vanishing), this medium is also a symbol of a certain time. This is especially true in Eastern Europe, where its rise and decline were concurrent with social transformation — a passage from "actual" socialism to "fresh" capitalism. This lecture presents a short history of VHS as a "vanishing medium," a new form of entertainment, a type of business, and a tool for recording and personal remembrance. It presents selected aspects of the history, aesthetics, and meaning of VHS as a medium of "social transition," a sign of transformation taking place on various levels of daily life.

Discussants — Oleksandr Makhanets, Julia Kovalenko

The event will be delivered on an online platform zoom. To join the discussion, please, register.

Live streaming on Youtube will be available.

Working languages: Ukrainian and Polish. Simultaneous interpreting to/from Ukrainian will be provided.

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Dr. Krzysztof Swirek

Sociologist and lecturer at the Faculty of Sociology, University of Warsaw, where he teaches classical and modern social thought. He specialises in critical theories of everyday life, especially in Marxism and psychoanalysis. In 2018 he published a book: Teorie ideologii na przecięciu Marxizmu i psychoanalizy (Theories of ideology at the junction of Marxism and psychoanalysis). Editor of 'View. Theories and Practices of Visual Culture' (since 2020).

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Oleksandr Makhanets

Historian, researcher, head of the Urban Media Archive of the Center for Urban History

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Julia Kovalenko

PhD in culturology, film critic, program coordinator Docudays UA

"Urban Scraps: Space, Media and Visuality" is a series of lectures on the city, culture, and history implemented in partnership by the Center for Urban History (Ukraine) and Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Poland).

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