SCREEN-L Archives

January 2017, Week 3


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Matthew Freeman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 09:35:29 +0000
text/plain (113 lines)

*Signal Effects:*
*Digital Ecologies and the Anthropocene*

*Media Convergence Research Centre, Bath Spa University*

*One-Day Symposium: Friday April 28th 2017*

*Confirmed Keynotes:*
*Dr Ele Carpenter, Goldsmiths College, London*
*Professor Owain Jones, Bath Spa University*

The Media Convergence Research Centre at Bath Spa University is proud to
host the first *Signal Effects* symposium titled *Digital Ecologies and the
Anthropocene*, which will take place on Friday April 28th 2017. We are
interested in submissions from researchers, artists, filmmakers, writers
and theorists whose work connects with the overall themes and strands of
the symposium.

In August 2016 the International Geological Congress declared that a new
geological epoch known as the Anthropocene needs to be declared due to the
fact that the human impact on the earth is now so profound. Timothy Morton
uses the term ‘hyperobjects’ to discuss some of the characteristics of the
anthropocene and why it is often invisible to the human: he notes that
hyperobjects are 'so massively distributed in time, space and
dimensionality' that they defy our perception, let alone our comprehension,
therefore the condition of the anthropocene is easily ignored. Among the
examples Morton gives are climate change and radioactive plutonium. 'In one
sense [hyperobjects] are abstractions,' he notes, 'in another they are
ferociously, catastrophically real.'

Another of these ‘hyperobjects’ relates to the human relationship with
machines and we can trace their impact on the earth back to the invention
of the steam engine in 1781 by James Watt and its deposits of carbon on the
earth’s crust. But today’s contemporary technologies appear to be different
and are crucial to enabling human life and culture to function as well as
realising  the production and distribution processes of capital. They also
provide us with useful tools for visualising processes such as climate
change and tracking the earth’s own movements and seismic activity.

However, the notion of these technologies being ‘clean’ or ‘virtual’ is
soon unraveled by tracing their material realities which are made up of
complex meshes of human and non-human moving parts. Today’s machines are
heavily enabled by the extraction of raw materials, the use of fossil fuels
and the production of material waste at sites such as Guiyu, China which
has been called ‘the electronic graveyard of the world’.

In her book *Digital Rubbish*, Jennifer Gabrys notes that the electronic
extends from technologies to markets and to modes of waste, decay and
disintegration, articulating the relation between the signal and the thing
and how they are bound into a shared material process. The history of the
internet and today’s pervasive media technologies is also closely tied to
the study of the earth and an observation of the ecological. It emerges
from the development of military and nuclear technologies, the conception
of cybernetics and the design of self-governing computer systems with built
in feedback loops. These machines and systems end up as actors within a
complex mesh of networks, hyperobjects, production processes, waste
disposal and notions of deep time.

In terms of responses to these conditions Christophe Bonneuil describes the
'shock of the Anthropocene' as a space for generating new political
arguments, new modes of behaviour, new narratives, new languages and new
creative forms and this symposium is focused on bringing some of these
emerging discourses to the surface across theory and practice.

Building on these issues, proposal topics may address, but are not limited

   - The Anthropocene and forms of waste
   - Digital ecologies, hyperobjects and new materialities
   - Deep time and new temporalities
   - Creative strategies and approaches

Please send proposals (300 words approx.) for all papers, artworks or
screenings – outlining their aim and form – along with a short biography to
the symposium coordinator: Charlie Tweed ([log in to unmask]) by no
later than *Friday 24th February 2017*.

The Media Convergence Research Centre interrogates the creativity, culture
and enterprise of the media in the changing landscape of convergence,
re-thinking the potentials of merging media practices, representations,
technologies, industries and audiences everywhere. The Centre operates
around four research clusters: Digital Materialities, Film & Social
Context, Play, and Transmedia Industries.

*Dr Matthew Freeman, FHEA*

*Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication*
*Director, Media Convergence Research Centre*

*The Digital Academy*

*Bath Spa University*

T: +44 (0)1225 876708
Join us on: Facebook <> |
Twitter <> | YouTube
<> | LinkedIn
Newton Park, Newton St Loe, Bath, BA2 9BN.

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: