Dr. Ella Klik

Areas of specialization:

media studies

Areas of competence:

history of media technologies, media theory and aesthetics, post-structuralism


 I am a scholar of media history and theory with an emphasis on the intersection between technology, materiality, aesthetics, and memory. I received my PhD in 2018 from the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, and spent a year as a researcher at the Interactive Media Arts program at NYU Shanghai, where I taught digital media theory.

My dissertation project “Erasable Media from Letters to Bits” explored the undoing of recording, broadly construed, across multiple devices and techniques starting with paper and onto analog and digital forms of capture. Despite the negative aspects of erasability, I argue that this form of designed ephemerality is a productive analytic framework for the exploration of the life of media, particularly when this quality or condition is obscured in popular discourse and scholarly debates. Thus, the project contends that technical processes such as deletion and the reality of discarded data should stand at the center of inquiries into the production and management of knowledge, culture and history making.

During my time at the Polonsky Academy, I will develop my second large-scale project focusing on digital (re)constructions of lost objects. Between serendipitous recovery of collections presumed to be lost and visions of immanent decay of important documents, there exists a vibrant and at times speculative sphere of technological engagement that not only seeks to counter entropy in all of its cultural and physical forms but can also shed light on some of the enduring questions we ask in the humanities and social sciences regarding the shaping of history and how we narrate the past by putting objects on display. This work is future oriented and aims at understanding the particular imaginaries and technical possibilities and limitations of the increased integration of digital media in a variety of institutional settings.