By Jussi Parikka
Media historical past is hundreds of thousands, even billions, of years outdated. that's the premise of this pioneering and provocative ebook, which argues that to appropriately comprehend modern media tradition we needs to set out from fabric realities that precede media themselves—Earth’s background, geological formations, minerals, and effort. And to take action, writes Jussi Parikka, is to confront the profound environmental and social implications of this ubiquitous, yet hardly ever ephemeral, realm of modern day life.
Exploring the source depletion and fabric resourcing required for us to exploit our units to reside networked lives, Parikka grounds his research in Siegfried Zielinski’s broadly mentioned suggestion of deep time—but takes it again millennia. not just are infrequent earth minerals and plenty of different fabrics had to make our electronic media machines paintings, he observes, yet used and out of date media applied sciences go back to the earth as residue of electronic tradition, contributing to turning out to be layers of poisonous waste for destiny archaeologists to think about. He indicates that those fabrics needs to be thought of along the customarily risky and exploitative hard work strategies that refine them into the units underlying our probably digital or immaterial practices.
A Geology of Media demonstrates that the surroundings doesn't simply encompass our media cultural world—it runs via it, permits it, and hosts it in an period of unheard of weather swap. whereas taking a look backward to Earth’s far-off previous, it additionally appears to be like ahead to a extra expansive media theory—and, implicitly, media activism—to come.
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Additional resources for A Geology of Media
We could call this “mythopoesis”29 (to borrow a notion from a different context of the Ippolita group), which as a critical perspective, focuses on the narratives of and on technology as the site of political struggle. Zielinski’s media archaeological and more so anarchaeological approach, however, hones in on geological time. For Zielinski, earth times and geological durations become a theoretical strategy of resistance against the linear progress myths that impose a limited context for understanding technological change.
9 The whole layers, the core and the strata, throbbed, pulsated, and animated. It should not even be necessary to go to similar lengths as Professor Challenger does, in one of the most bizarre rapelike scenes in literature, when he penetrates that jellyesque layer just to make the earth scream. This scientific sadism echoes in the ears of the audience and much further. ”10 All this was observed and witnessed by an audience called by the professor— peers and interested international crowd, by invitation only.
Here the underground becomes a spatial arrangement to highlight the separated sphere of production that underlies our feet and is detached from our direct perception but maintaining the everyday practices. The underground is the place of repetitious, exploitative, and even absurd work of arrangements and rearrangements of partial objects without a view of the big picture. Labor alienation is expressed in terms of aesthetics of odd parallel realities. It is the sphere of material processing, and both of the earth and the human labor as standing reserve.
A Geology of Media by Jussi Parikka