XVIII MAGIS International Spring School – Media Archaeology Section

Gorizia (Italy), March 28th-31st, 2020
Ecologies of Perception

Drawing on a media-ecological perspective, the focus of the 2020 edition of the Media Archaeology section will be on “ecologies of perception.” What Luciana Parisi ten years ago described as “technoecologies of sensation,” (2009) today has developed into a new form of rationality, one which is not only concerned with current environmentalist challenges, but that also opens up possibilities for reconsidering processes of “technocapitalist naturalization” (Massumi 2017). Ecology, from this point of view, signifies the need to rethink “the capacities of an environment, defined in terms of a multiplicity of interlayered milieus and localities, to become generative of emergent forms and patterns” (Parisi 2017). Today’s “general ecology,” Erich Hörl writes, “characterises being and thought under the technological condition of a cybernetic state of nature” (2017). Our section picks up on the suggestion that this expanding paradigm calls for new descriptions, including a rigorous historization of sense-perception and sensation, as well as a reflection on their ethical and aesthetical implications. In a time when media increasingly operate at a micro-temporal scale “without any necessary – let alone any direct – connection to human sense perception and conscious awareness” (Hansen 2015), it opens up a horizon for asking “how to re-think or even reinvent media as a form of earth re-writing” (Starosielski/Walker 2016).
Our aim is to bring together papers on the following three, interrelated, topics: First, the relation between media and communication technologies and social movements. “The media ecological framework is particularly suited for the study of the social movements/media nexus,” Treré-Mattoni (2015) has observed, “because of its ability to provide fine-tuned explorations of the multiplicity, the interconnections, the dynamic evolution of old and new media forms for social change.” From within this framework, we are keen to hear on investigations of various forms, or dispositifs, of subjectivation in the face of newly emerging social forces or social resistance.
Second, the role of media infrastructures in shaping our ways of perceiving the world. Today, we are increasingly thinking and living under conditions of an effective “programmability of planet earth.” (Gabrys 2016) We thus need to pay attention to the complex consequences of media becoming environmental and environments becoming mediated. From this point of view, action and resistance, as well as dynamic relations between human and non-human entities, need to be framed and shaped on a wider range of scale. Joanna Zylinska, in this context, for example, reclaims a “minimal ethics” for the Anthropocene: “swap the telescope for the microscope,” she writes. “It is a practical and conceptual device that allows us to climb up and down various spatiotemporal dimensions” (2014). We ask: what would a minimal ethics for an ecology of perception entail?
Third, the complex linkages between media as technology and environmental issues in more-than-human worlds, including “the concrete connections that media as technology has to resources […] and nature” (Parikka 2013; 2016). Special focus will be dedicated to the capitalist “production of the obsolete” (Jucan 2016); “finite media” (Cubitt 2017); the effects or remains of what Parikka called the “anthrobscene”; and the question what a speculative ethics of “slow (media) violence” (Parikka) and “matters of care” (Puig de la Bellacasa 2017) might entail.
The Media Archaeology section welcomes proposals relating (but not limited) to the following sub-topics:
– Ecologies of perception
– Media archeological approaches to the concept of media ecology, its materiality and infrastructures
– The role of media affordances in building a media ecology
– The role of computational design
– Critical considerations of (un)sustainable media
– Obsolescence, and or the reconstruction of the materiality of past media ecologies
– The complex relations between media technologies, natural environments, and the multifaceted temporalities they entail
– The role of dynamic instrumentalisation of nature in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology etc.
– The nexus between media ecologies and social movements: interactions in a liquid production and fruition context
– tele-technologies for contemporary social movements (e.g. memes, meme-platforms, meme-generator, flashmobs, Anonymous operations etc.)
– Dispositifs of subjectivation
– Speculative ethics, and matters of care
– The “minimal ethics” for “more-than-human worlds”
– The notion of “slow media violence” and “matters of care”
– Geologic matter and bio-matter, deep times and deep places of media in mines and rare earth minerals
We invite you to send us individual paper proposals, workshop proposals and panel proposals. Proposals should contain a short CV (10 lines max) and be no longer than one page. The deadline for their submission is December, 31st 2019.
A registration fee (€ 150) will be applied. For more information, please contact us at goriziafilmforum@gmail.com

Steering committee:

Diego Cavallotti, University of Cagliari
Simone Dotto, University of Udine
Pepita Hesselberth, Leiden University
Andrea Mariani, University of Udine
Sebastian Scholz, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Simone Venturini, University of Udine