By Jussi Parikka
Media historical past is thousands, even billions, of years previous. that's the premise of this pioneering and provocative publication, 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 not often ephemeral, realm of modern day life.
Exploring the source depletion and fabric resourcing required for us to take advantage of our units to dwell networked lives, Parikka grounds his research in Siegfried Zielinski’s extensively 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minerals and plenty of different fabrics had to make our electronic media machines paintings, he observes, yet used and out of date media applied sciences go back to the earth as residue of electronic tradition, contributing to growing to be layers of poisonous waste for destiny archaeologists to give some thought to. He exhibits that those fabrics has to be thought of along the usually harmful and exploitative hard work tactics that refine them into the units underlying our doubtless 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 extraordinary weather switch. whereas taking a look backward to Earth’s far away earlier, it additionally appears to be like ahead to a extra expansive media theory—and, implicitly, media activism—to come.
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Additional info for A Geology of Media
Bingham Canyon copper mine in Utah, Rio Tinto, Kennecott Utah Copper Corp. Photograph by Spencer Musik. 15 Indeed, besides such contemporary contexts of mining where Challenger’s madness starts to make sense, one is tempted to think of an imaginary of horrors of the underground from Lovecraft to Fritz Leiber. 16 One should neither ignore the earth screams caused by hydraulic fracturing—fracking that, besides the promise that it might change the geopolitical balance of energy production, also points toward what is often neglected in the discourse of geopolitics, that is, geos, the earth, the soil, and the crust.
Now a geopolitical turn is happening that takes into account that data have a material and legal territory and that we can speak of geophysics of information. ” This differs from the literary genre of steampunk that follows a cyberpunk aesthetics of the 1980s and 1990s and offers a literal steampunk for the twenty-first century: the steam of the data center somewhere up north, preferably on the permafrost, cooling down the heat of data crunching. The Anthrobscene logic: the North affords the Cool, the South provides the Cheap (labor).
Dust is found as residue of polished iPads as well as attached to workers’ lungs from coal mines to contemporary fac tories of information technology. The art projects by Yokokoji–Harwood (YoHa; from the United Kingdom) are good examples of addressing this notion of residue, from coal to aluminum. They reveal an alternative side to the discourse of cognitive capitalism: the world of hardwork and hardware that persists as a defining factor of digital media culture. Chapter 5 picks up on (media) fossils.