Media, Materiality, Infrastructure Workshop

Friday, March 7, 2014
Department of Media, Culture, and Communication
New York University Steinhardt
239 Greene Street, Floor 8
New York, NY 10003
This one-day workshop in NYU’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication will consider emergent approaches to media, materiality, and infrastructure. It is inspired by the recent expansion in research on the materiality of media and communication, undertaken in diverse scholarly lineages ranging from material culture, to urban studies, to German media-theory inspired media archaeology. The workshop will explore questions such as: how are new forms of material assemblage affecting mediation? What new forms of agency, sociality, and connectivity are at play? What kinds of materialist approaches are necessary to come to grips with the shifts in media infrastructure? It is our hope that the session will serve as a forum to foreground critical questions on media and materiality, and to connect and advance projects on these topics.
We request that participants register for full-day participation in order to assure a continuous conversation as well as stakeholders for future directions based on this workshop.

9:00-10:20 AM   Media, Materiality, Technology
Finn Brunton, “The Big Heat: The Materiality of Money and Computational Work”
Shannon Mattern, “Conceptual Units: How Our Knowledge Institutions Materialize Intellectual and Cultural Values”
Natalie Jeremijenko, “Raising Standards of Evidence in Participatory Public Processes”
Discussant: Erica Robles-Anderson
10:30-11:45 AM   Infrastructure Aesthetics and Political Effects
Brian Larkin, “The Political Aesthetics of Infrastructures”
Shane Brennan, “Visual Cultures of the American Electrical System”
Ben Mendehlson, “Dredging, the Anthropocene, and Infrastructure Aesthetics”
Discussant: Nicole Starosielski
12:00-1:00 PM   Arjun Appadurai, “Mediants, Materiality, Normativity”
1:00-2:00 PM   Lunch
2:00-3:30 PM   Sites, Mobilities, Affects
Lisa Parks, “Infrastructure and Affect: Reinvention on the Edges”
Helga Tawil-Souri, “Thinking Through Territoriality and Mobility”
Jamie “Skye” Bianco, “#bottlesNbones: the Intimate and the Alien in the Clustermucks of #trashNtoxicity”
Matt Hockenberry, “Ports of the Long Land and Sea Carriage: The Factory System in Early Modern Trade”
Discussant: Lisa Gitelman
3:45-5:00 PM   Leakage, Disruption, Failure
Nikhil Anand, “Leaky States: Audits, Ignorance and the Materiality of Politics in Mumbai”
Liz Koslov, “Mapping a Coastal Future: The Media and Materiality of Managed Retreat”
Carlin Wing, “Conditions of Bounce: Considering Materially Mediated (Mis)communication”
Discussant: Ben Kafka
Reception to Follow


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