I am a media theorist working at the intersection of visual culture and the history of technology. My current book project, Factory Forms, investigates the changing nature of the mechanically reproduced image in the decades after World War II, when new forms of automation transformed pressrooms, film laboratories, projection booths, and television signal processing. Using close visual analysis, I show how technological changes and labor struggles reveal themselves in mass-produced images, and how such visible changes fed back into artistic production in both fine art and popular visual culture.
My primary training is in Film & Media Studies and Art History, and my methods draw on media archeology and science and technology studies. Other research interests include experimental film, media art, and feminist film theory. My essays have appeared in diacritics, World Picture, Millennium Film Journal, and The New Inquiry.
Previously, I was a collection cataloger and registrar at Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY. Based on this experience, I love spending time in archives, and introducing students to historical collections!
- Mal Ahern awarded the Annette Kuhn Debut Essay Prize - May 13, 2020