Swarm, Hive, Web: Considering Media Archaeological Approaches to Events and Objects
Society of Cinema and Media Studies
Seattle WA, March 19-23, 2014
In an age of ascendant social media, have the mass public, the viewing community, the prosumer been replaced by the swarm, the hive, the nodal collective? This panel will examine recent media archaeological theories and models of decentered and networked phenomena, especially with an eye to the advantages and limits of such approaches.
In Insect Media, Jussi Parikka suggests that in the age of networked media, individuation has become nodal and ephemeral, that the swarm and the hive become better models for understanding a range of networked phenomena, and that swarming is “exemplary of the future forms of diagrammatic control in bioinformatic networks and represents…a particular emerging form of diagrammatics of network biopolitics.” This approach de-emphasizes individual acts and effects, favoring a mode of analysis that operates within and through the same modalities it considers. What are the strengths and weaknesses of such approaches. What is their relationship to previous models and theories of mediated existence, and of media themselves? This panel is meant to serve as a forum for media theorists, critics, and practitioners engaged with networked phenomena, or who want to consider new tools for the study of objects, events, and persons in mediated social systems.
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Swarming, hives, and virality as models for networked society.
Precursors to media archaeology: Kittler, Latour, Deleuze, Simondon, Tarde, etc., and their place in a genealogy of mediated ecologies.
Questions of agency and swarming: studies of non-human agents or human non-agents.
Current articulations of media archaeological theory and related approaches, such as via Sampson and virality or Grusin and premediation, and etc.
Questions about the material logics of media, particularly concerning boundaries between biology and technologies, and their potential impact on theories or practices of biopower.
Military or activist applications of technology using swarms, hives, webs (logics or materials) and its implications for distributed risk and/or distributed accountability.
Please send an abstract of no more than 350 words and a short bio by August 5 to Gloria Kim at email@example.com and Nic Sammond at firstname.lastname@example.org . Determinations will be made by August 12.
Program for Media And Society
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
309 Demarest Hall
Geneva, NY 14456
Cinema Studies Institute
University of Toronto
2 Sussex Avenue
Toronto, ON M5S 1J5
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