A Geology of Media by Jussi Parikka

By Jussi Parikka

Media heritage is thousands, even billions, of years outdated. that's the premise of this pioneering and provocative publication, which argues that to effectively comprehend modern media tradition we needs to set out from fabric realities that precede media themselves—Earth’s heritage, 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 infrequently ephemeral, realm of modern day life.
Exploring the source depletion and fabric resourcing required for us to exploit our units to dwell networked lives, Parikka grounds his research in Siegfried Zielinski’s generally mentioned idea of deep time—but takes it again millennia. not just are infrequent earth minerals and lots of different fabrics had to make our electronic media machines paintings, he observes, yet used and out of date media applied sciences go back to the earth as residue of electronic tradition, contributing to starting to be layers of poisonous waste for destiny archaeologists to consider. He indicates that those fabrics has to be thought of along the customarily harmful and exploitative exertions methods that refine them into the units underlying our possible digital or immaterial practices.
A Geology of Media demonstrates that the surroundings doesn't simply encompass our media cultural world—it runs via it, allows it, and hosts it in an period of unheard of weather switch. whereas taking a look backward to Earth’s far away prior, it additionally appears ahead to a extra expansive media theory—and, implicitly, media activism—to come.

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A satirical image from 1843 in Punch (volume 5) underlines the ontology of labor as one of underground: capitalism works in the depths to find an infrastructural level that sustains the pleasant consumerized life above the ground and yet stays invisible. Reprinted with permission of Punch magazine. have brought across the ecological board. The concept, which is not scientifically universally accepted,46 takes aboard the cross-­species and ecological ties human activity has been developing: the concept speaks to the relations with other animals—­for instance, domestication of the dog—­and the various techniques of living, primarily agriculture and fire, which have had massive influence over thousands of years.

It works like a factory. indd 24 28/01/2015 12:46:16 PM Materiality 25 Such journalistic narratives as Blum’s are useful in highlighting the alternative rhetoric to the cyberpunk immateriality, which has persisted since the 1980s up until the present day. 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.

Indd 19 28/01/2015 12:46:15 PM 20 Materiality This humanities approach is now also recognizing the importance of biological and geological contributions as part of the social collective. This includes the realization that humans are also biological and geological agents55 but also that, to understand the wider patterns of the social, we need to resist the old-­fashioned methodological dualisms haunting disciplinary thinking of the past. But Chakrabarty’s elegant and important text includes a further twist that brings such insights into proximity with postcolonial critiques of globalization as well as analysis of the political economy of capitalism.

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