By Jussi Parikka
Media background is thousands, even billions, of years outdated. that's the premise of this pioneering and provocative e-book, which argues that to correctly 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 rarely ephemeral, realm of modern day life.
Exploring the source depletion and fabric resourcing required for us to exploit our units to stay networked lives, Parikka grounds his research in Siegfried Zielinski’s commonly 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minerals and lots of different fabrics had to make our electronic media machines paintings, he observes, yet used and out of date media applied sciences go back to the earth as residue of electronic tradition, contributing to becoming layers of poisonous waste for destiny archaeologists to give some thought to. He exhibits that those fabrics needs to be thought of along the usually risky and exploitative hard work approaches 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, allows it, and hosts it in an period of exceptional weather switch. whereas taking a look backward to Earth’s far away prior, it additionally seems to be ahead to a extra expansive media theory—and, implicitly, media activism—to come.
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Additional info for A Geology of Media
Indd 18 28/01/2015 12:46:15 PM Materiality 19 Fossil fuels and their associated technologies—steam engines, inter nal combustion engines—made many new activities possible and old ones more efficient. For example, with abundant energy it proved possible to synthesize ammonia from atmospheric nitrogen, in effect to make fertilizer out of air, a process pioneered by the German chemist Fritz Haber early in the twentieth century. 53 The metal, chemical, and mineral agents of history become pushed from mere contextual insights to agents of a different sort of genealogy.
First is the research and design, fabrication and standardization, of new materials that allow for mediatic and high-technology processes to emerge. This relates to history of chemistry as well as product development, aluminum and other synthetic materials that characterize modernity, alongside the work on material sciences that enabled so much of computer culture. Silicon and germanium are obvious examples of discoveries in chemistry that proved to be essential for computer culture. More recently, to take an illustrative example, the minuscule twenty-two- nanometer transistors that function without silicon are made of indium, gallium, and arsenid and demonstrate that a lot of science happens way before discursive wizardry of creative technology discourse.
J. ), also something that can be rolled out as a methodology. For instance, in Iain Hamilton Grant’s Schelling-focused writings, it is spelled out in a manner that relates it to a material stratification of genealogy turning geology: Thus the earth is not an object containing its ground within itself, like the preformationists’ animal series; but rather a series or process of grounding with respect to its consequents. If geology, or the “mining process,” opens onto an ungroundedness at the core of any object, this is precisely because there is no “primal layer of the world,” no “ultimate substrate” or substance on which everything ultimately rests.