At nearly every instance of our 21st century lives, we are facing an ecology of (non‑)human actants generating entangled epistemologies. Navigating through the possibilities of playful engagement in these media saturated environments, I will address the notion of the “environmental” in media studies in its first and foremost substance-based meaning.
The sea, the soil and the cloud as elemental media will provide for an inquiry into artistic practices and vice versa: As fuzzy yet potent objects of research they shed light upon the conflicting notions of calculation/speculation, ephemerality/persistence, order/messiness and confront them with reflexive accounts. In that respect, the momentum “as if” enfolds through playful engagement, e.g. the musings on posthuman ecosystems evolving from the plastic debris drifting in the sea; by trying to establish contact to the earthbound basis of technological artefacts; or in witnessing how an actual cloud comes into being within the exhibition space. As I will argue, fluids, solids and vapours serve as specific instruments of media reflexivity.

Session Materials

Peters, John Durham: Understanding Media. In: Peters, John Durham: The Marvelous Clouds. Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2015, pp 13-52.

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