Final volume of Recursions: Hardwired Temporalities

September 14, 2021 Leave a comment

We are happy to announce that the collection Media Infrastructures and the Politics of Digital Time: Essays on Hardwired Temporalities , edited by Axel Volmar and Kyle Stine is out in the Recursions series both as Open Access and as hardback (for libraries).

“In a crucial sense, all machines are time machines. The essays in Media Infrastructures and the Politics of Digital Time develop the central concept of hardwired temporalities to consider how technical networks hardwire and rewire patterns of time. Digital media introduce new temporal patterns in their features of instant communication, synchronous collaboration, intricate time management, and continually improved speed. They construct temporal infrastructures that affect the rhythms of lived experience and shape social relations and practices of cooperation. Interdisciplinary in method and international in scope, the volume draws together insights from media and communication studies, cultural studies, and science and technology studies while staging an important encounter between two distinct approaches to the temporal patterning of media infrastructures, a North American strain emphasizing the social and cultural experiences of lived time and a European tradition, prominent especially in Germany, focusing on technological time and time-critical processes.”

The book is also the last volume we (myself, Anna Tuschling, and Geoffrey Winthrop-Young) published as founding editors of Recursions (2014-2021). From Sybille Krämer’s Medium, Messenger, Transmission: An Approach to Media Philosophy to the two books out this year (Media Infrastructures and the Politics of Digital Time and Jane Birkin’s Archive, Photography and the Language of Administration) we managed to publish key works by both established senior philosophers and from emerging talented scholars in ways that we hope contributed to the international media theory discussions in a significant way. While we have expressed our wish to the publisher, Amsterdam University Press, to discontinue the series, we will continue to support the published books and their authors to ensure they get the attention they deserve.

As a reminder, have a look at the full list of Recursions volumes.

Grounding

September 10, 2021 Leave a comment

Our video piece Seed, Image, Ground is on display until October 18 at the Grounding exhibition in St Petersburg, at the Dokuchaev Soil Museum. For us, that institutional and narrative context is perfect, considering the book on Vegetal Images we are writing with Abelardo Gil-Fournier features occasional appearances of Dokuchaev, Vernadsky, and others.

Furthermore, the video is featured currently in an exhibition on air/atmosphere in Shenzen, in this one on soil/grounding in St. Petersburg, and next year in a context that adds another elemental twist to the contextualization of Seed, Image, Ground (that was originally commissioned by Fotomuseum Winterthur for their series “Strike/Situations”.)

Aarhus

August 17, 2021 Leave a comment

Some news:

I will be starting as professor in Digital Aesthetics & Culture at Aarhus University in January 2022. I am excited to join a group of fantastic colleagues & the department of Digital Design & Information Studies (which is part of the School of Communication and Culture). I am happy about all sorts of new opportunities, collaborations, and projects that this will mean, among them a project and a research (/teaching) focus on critical environmental data (more on that later).

Of course, I will continue with certain projects and work with my colleagues at Winchester School of Art (and other parts of the University of Southampton) as well as in my role as project leader for Operational Images and Visual Culture at FAMU in Prague.

This new affiliation will also trigger the important question if I need to shift teams from Arsenal to Aarhus GF.

Lost Islands at the Helsinki Biennial: a conversation with Samir Bhowmik

August 16, 2021 Leave a comment

I had the pleasure to be an advisor for Samir Bhowmik’s art and performance project Lost Islands (2021) that was commissioned by the Helsinki Biennial. Here’s a talk/conversation we did with Samir as part of the public talks program of the Biennial – we discussed the Anthropocene, performance arts, the island and infrastructure, and other themes stemming from the Lost Islands (as well as Samir’s own art-research work).

An interview on media archaeology with Brazilian colleagues

August 8, 2021 Leave a comment

Thanks to Alex Martire and Camila de Ávila of the Grupo de pesquisa (CNPq) Arqueologia Interativa e Simulações Eletrônicas (ARISE), do MAE-USP (a Brazilian research group focused on archaeology & archaeogaming) for this interview on media archaeology, my own route into these topics, etc.

The conversation comes with Portuguese subtitles.

The timing is fitting as the Brazilian edition of What is Media Archaeology? should be coming out soon (published by EDUERJ).

Academia Europaea

I am happy to share the news that I’ve been nominated and elected as Member of the Academia Europaea in the section of Film, Media & Visual Studies.

Here’s a short news item with some more details.

Categories: academic research

Lost Islands

Lost Islands, a performance project by Samir Bhowmik (and co-choreography by Esete Sutinen) is on now at the Helsinki Biennial. Book your place if in Helsinki, but have a look at the trailer video for a glimpse of the themes: anthropocene, infrastructure, architecture, etc.

Lost Islands is a series of expeditions tracing the route of an imaginary subterranean and underwater cable through the island of Vallisaari, with the artist serving as tour guide and narrator. The expeditions venture into the island’s topography, forested pathways, waterways, historical buildings, ruins and bunkers. Along the way, visitors are engaged and immersed in installations, film, theatre, contemporary dance, song, and experimental music. The expeditions will take place as a series of events staged on the island from June to August.”

For more info on the work and credits, see also https://helsinkibiennaali.fi/en/artist/samir-bhowmik/ .

An ecoaesthetic of vegetal surfaces

An ecoaesthetic of vegetal surfaces: on Seed, Image, Ground as soft montage” is the title of the new article we just published in the Journal of Visual Art Practice with Abelardo Gil-Fournier. It draws on the video essay published last year and engages especially with the practice-led methodology. The video was just recently installed in the Vibrating Clouds exhibition in Shenzen and will be part of at least two exhibitions in later 2021/2022 (in Europe). With Abelardo, we are currently writing a book on vegetal images and the question of multi-scalar planetary surfaces.

Below a short excerpt of the article’s Introduction section

This essay builds on our recent Seed, Image, Ground video project (2020) and how it entangles with our larger research project on surfaces. Both address the surface of plants, agriculture and the biosphere in relation to the surfaces of media, such as screens and images. The video essay was commissioned by the Fotomuseum Winterthur in 2020 and it is openly available at the institution’s YouTube channel. While the video is a central reference point for this visual essay, our aim is not so much to theorise our own moving images and their juxtapositions and rhythms. Instead, in this article, we present a series of surfaces and scales that appear in and through the images. Images build upon images and this constitutes the practice-led approach to the temporal unfolding in the video. The video works as a temporal articulation of image surfaces across and upon living surfaces. In other words, we articulate the moving images as practices of surfaces, plants, and images: hence the central motif of the video essay and this accompanying text is to ask ‘what do images of growth look like?’ How do such images operate in two channel video practice that builds on Harun Farocki’s work? Here, we do not refer only to operational images (Farocki 2004), but also to the idea of a ‘soft montage’ (Farocki 2009) which becomes a methodological reference point as one aspect of practice of images about and across images that can also be conceptualised as we do in this essay. The video and its relation to text are ecoaesthetic (Cubitt 2017) in the sense of dealing with the entanglement of media and environmental materials where the double articulation of images and green plant surfaces are the engine of our argument.

In this way, the video is a methodological exercise that helps to articulate a problem space (Lury 2021) – a space where problems, methods, and concepts are dynamically rearticulated, and where the space of their composition is not a stable container where a thing is addressed but part of their making: ‘a problem is not given but emerges with-in and out-with a myriad sequence of actions or methods that (trans)forms the problem space’ (Lury 2021, 6). This composition and this montage points to the ways methods are enacted only in the material practices that constitute the problem space as it unfolds as a living issue and tissue. Can this sequence Lury refers to be also a sequence of images? Could the actions be those of images? As the following visualisation of the evolution of the timeline of our video essay show, the video’s timeline as a problem space presents its fabrication as a surface. The cuts, the movements of the sequences, and other editing operations manifested in the figure, call for a dynamic understanding of surface as surfacing, built on multiple genealogies of instrumentation, technology, and cultivation.

Vibrating Clouds

Our Seed, Image, Ground video (2020, with Abelardo Gil-Fournier) is currently installed and on show in Shenzen at the Vibrating Clouds exhibition curated by Yixuan Cai and her team for the Design Society. The video was also part of the Reprogramming Earth exhibition curated by Daphne Dragona at NEME in Cyprus and it will feature in a couple of other exhibitions in the coming 12 months too.

For a short overview of the exhibition in Chinese, see here. Other artists and architects in the exhibition include Tomas Saraceno, Karolina Sobecka, Philippe Rahm architectes, Janine Randerson and others.

For Abelardo and me, it’s a special pleasure to know that it is finally installed in actual physical space alongside good audio that allows the sound design by María Andueza Olmedo to stand out.

Strelka podcast interview

Posting this earlier (Feb 2020) recorded interview at Strelka institute, Moscow; Geology of Media is a starting point but the discussion ends up in many other areas as well.

“What kind of cultural theory would be adequate for the age of climate disturbances, technological shifts, and large-scale infrastructures? In this episode, Jussi Parikka, a media theorist and author of ‘Geology of Media’, talks about the materiality of media, slow environmental violence, and the way to apply his theory to The Terraforming. Design research program The Terraforming is a three-year (2020–2022) initiative of the Strelka Institute, directed by Benjamin H. Bratton.”