By Jussi Parikka

ISBN-10: 0816695512

ISBN-13: 9780816695515

Media background is hundreds of thousands, even billions, of years outdated. that's the premise of this pioneering and provocative ebook, which argues that to competently 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 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 stay networked lives, Parikka grounds his research in Siegfried Zielinski’s generally mentioned inspiration 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minerals and plenty of different fabrics had to make our electronic media machines paintings, he observes, yet used and out of date media applied sciences go back to the earth as residue of electronic tradition, contributing to becoming layers of poisonous waste for destiny archaeologists to examine. He indicates that those fabrics has to be thought of along the customarily risky and exploitative hard work methods that refine them into the units underlying our likely 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 remarkable weather switch. whereas having a look backward to Earth’s far away previous, it additionally seems ahead to a extra expansive media theory—and, implicitly, media activism—to come.

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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).

Data mining is not only about the metaphorical big data repositories of social media. In a great summarizing phrase in Andrew Blum’s book Tubes, a Facebook data center manager speaks to this elemental part of data: “This has nothing to do with clouds. ”73 The manager summons the same world as a character in Pynchon’s novel. Cool, cold data are not just a linguistic or visual metaphor, despite that elegant modernism that still lives inside the architectures of data—­at least in the images Google released of its data server factories.

I refer to projects such as iMine (by Baruch Gottlieb, Horacio González Diéguez, and Cocomoya); the microresearchlab group; Trevor Paglen’s visual art, Katie Paterson; YoHa’s work on aluminum and coal; various hardware-­hacking and circuit-­bending practitioners, including Garnet Hertz but also, for instance, Benjamin Gaulon’s Recyclism; Grégory Chatonsky’s art installations, Jonathan Kemp’s and Ryan Jordan’s work, Jamie Allen’s, and David Gauthier’s geosurveys of media infrastructures; and many more.

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A Geology of Media by Jussi Parikka

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