Across and Beyond: Post-digital Practices, Concepts, and Institutions

The introductory essay by Ryan Bishop, Kristoffer Gansing, and Jussi Parikka of transmediale's new publication across & beyond

From the mouthpiece came a humming, the likes of which K. had never heard on the telephone before. It was as though the humming of countless childlike voices — but it wasn't humming either, it was singing, the singing of the most distant, of the most utterly distant, voices — as though a single, high-pitched yet strong voice had emerged out of this humming in some quite impossible way and now drummed against one's ears as if demanding to penetrate more deeply into something other than one's wretched hearing. K. listened without telephoning, with his left arm propped on the telephone stand he listened thus […] against the telephone he was defenseless.
— Franz Kafka, The Castle1

Over the past ten years, the disciplines of media theory and media art and their institutions have been dramatically reshaped in response to the ubiquity of digital technology and the emergence of the so-called digital native generation into artistic practice. Terms like “post-internet” and “post-digital” are associated with an artistic engagement with technology that is not necessarily preoccupied with the digital as such, but with life after and in the digital, working across old and new, digital and analog. Post-digital as an idea and a term has become a way to take account of, contextualize, and shift the coordinates of the debate.

At the same time, media and cultural theory have taken up the challenge of this post-digital world in which it has become impossible to separate the study of technological materiality from that of networked global capitalism and environmental changes on a planetary scale. For Kafka’s protagonist, K, the new media reality of the signal humming on the telephone line leaves an acoustic trace, but without a meaning clearly decipherable to the human. As Bernhard Siegert points out, the telephonic meditations in The Castle are also commentaries on language and embodiment in the age of technical media: “Kafka moves the mythic origin of language (and of culture) from the anthropological domain to that of the nonhuman, where the distinctions between language and noise, animals and humans are abolished.”2 For the contemporary mindset, however, this sort of conflation of various regimes of reality is more likely to arrive in the form of Pokemon Go’s augmented-reality hallucinations of the cityscape, or in the overwhelming ubiquity of other media platforms that crisscross contexts of work and leisure, as well as physical and digital space, in ways that might leave a similar feeling of defenselessness and disempowerment as K experienced. Technical infrastructures are also the material structures where humans and nonhumans regularly meet.

By summoning critical concepts such as the post-digital, we are developing ways to grasp and intervene in this infrastructural formation of reality. The concept and the various positions surrounding it in fields of practice and theory gesture toward such potential, acknowledging that we are ineluctably embedded in the midst of such practices and infrastructures, even if not all appear or operate on the familiar anthropocentric scale.

This transmediale reader, published in conjunction with the thirty-year anniversary of transmediale festival, covers the response of media art and theory to these changes, more specifically drawing on media activism, media archaeology, critical media processes, and (post-)anthropocentric perspectives, offering various and complementary strategies for engaging these provocative contemporary concerns.3 It outlines the case for the post-digital as a heuristic to understand the historical and material contexts of media art and culture, and offers both artistic and analytical ways to approach contemporary conditions. Just as the postmodern discussion staked out a temporal and intellectual position in relation to modernity without presuming to have necessarily superseded it, with the post-digital we intend such a temporal and critical distance from the digital, while remaining partly defined by it.4

The term is intimately related to transversal artistic practices that, until recently, would have been branded as media art, but that are now opening up to perspectives outside this institutionalized field, as the prefix “trans-” (meaning both “across” and “beyond”) indicates. In her chapter on the “Technological Macrobiome” for this reader, Olga Goriunova suggests that transversality functions across an in-between materiality that emerges through the magnification of existing lines of practice. Such a perspective is valuable for approaching many of the recent and emerging practices of artists and designers who do not necessarily identify with the term “media art” and instead engage technology with methods informed by transversal ecologies and materialisms of the human and nonhuman.

Thus, this reader also reflects an ongoing shift within the artistic cultures surrounding a long-running media art festival such as transmediale. This shift has appeared for various reasons: on the one hand, the term “media” has itself become inflated, and so generic as to have been rendered almost superfluous.5 Simultaneously, the scope of “media” in critical media studies has expanded widely to encompass various sorts of practices of knowledge and writing from Hindu-Arabic numerals to calculus and card indexes. Architectural elements, such as doors, can count as media too, as can the postal system.6 Outside urban smart cities we can start to look at geological formations and materials such as mud or even thermocultures, as related to the ways in which media is built on top of and through existing planetary materialities and affordances.7 It is no wonder that many arts and design practices are steering clear of identification with media as an industry, and toward processes of mediation that can be defined by other terms and critically engaged through less reified concepts.

At best, media arts is a placeholder waiting for specification. New materials have again entered the spaces of critical practice and making, and the studio has incorporated a new set of tools and technologies that have led some to cast themselves as laboratories. While the term is poached from the sciences, its use underscores the experimental and contingent elements of aesthetic exploration, as Jussi Parikka discusses in this volume. And outside the studio, artistic practices attach to urban and planetary infrastructures and other sorts of expanded sites of practice that acknowledge one more thing: the materiality of the digital is not reducible to the screen, not to software, and not even to hardware. It is a massively distributed reality that in turn conditions our perceptual realities.

The post-digital, then, provides sets of speculative strategies and poetics in an attempt to construct a complex architecture for thinking and creating within contemporary institutional, economic, environmental, and technological constraints and possibilities. These are contemporary concerns, but, as with all contemporary issues, they are shot through with conflicting temporal relationships not easily grafted onto the linearity of past, present, and future without seriously damaging understanding of the complexities involved. Instead, in this book they become concerns through which pasts reassert themselves and futures spill out. Parallel timelines emerge alongside fabulations and imaginaries. A speculative stance toward the future is complemented with speculations about the past. The multiple temporalities suggested in the “post” of post-digital show how transversality allows for alternative ways to undercut simplistic linear causality in narratives of technological and medial triumph or catastrophe. Kristoffer Gansing does just this in his essay by returning to the medial “vanishing point” of an early edition of transmediale.

The standard stories of technological development, progress, and determinism often foreclose imaginaries that post-digital interventions critique and overturn. The post-digital becomes a field for material but also imaginary, alternative practices that affect the sense of the contemporary. “When the future appears foreclosed,” Paul K. Saint-Amour writes, “Anticipation loses its conditional relationship to that future: once seen as a fait accompli, a future event becomes a force in the present, producing effects in advance of its arrival.”8 It is this kind of teleological foreclosure of knowledge and research that the resistance to streaming culture and economies offered by the speculative articles and artist contributions in this book seeks to proleptically address.

Post-digital thinking and production serves as a kind of violence against chronological time and its various medial representations. Similarly, the deep time of geology renders ineffective the McLuhan-inflected anthropocentric formations of the time scales that media can occupy.9 Besides a media-theoretical debate that links to contemporary art discussions about the Anthropocene era, such work produces a new way of looking at media not merely as a thing but as a process that itself affects its own conditions of existence: this allows alternative media cultural perspectives to emerge. The different temporalities (and indeed spaces) occupied by and produced through the analog in relation to the digital yield the kind of cryptic power of juxtaposition found in the collage techniques mobilized so often over the past century, especially in Western art and aesthetics in its global articulation. Techniques derived from earlier forms of collage can help us move beyond the rather antiquated obsession with digital and analog, and toward discussions that attach to technical media culture and the arts in new ways. Such complex material settings or assemblages do not fall in neat categories of digital or non-digital, and involve sets of agencies, institutions, infrastructures, operations, signs, and meanings across multiple scales of interaction.10

A critical outlook is paramount and operative in the works included in this volume. Such an outlook aims to not only challenge common assumptions about the influence of media and technology on everyday life, but also to invent cultural imaginaries for addressing and engaging technological transformation in ways that might propel us to use and devise media technologies differently. This volume offers a mix of newly generated contributions as well as projects and articles previously presented at transmediale festival in Berlin, which are newly opened up in reflective pieces concerning art practices, curation, and contemporary (post)digital culture. The festival has been a leading venue for presentations staging the conflicts of the post-digital, and this reader represents some of the internationally significant artists and writers who have participated over the years, with special attention to the past five editions.

The reader is not, however, a recap of the past years of the festival program, but a standalone volume that develops and pushes forward the curatorial ideas at the heart of transmediale in book format. It forges a different temporal relationship between these ideas and gives them a different way of traversing art, design, and academia. This feeds back to our broader consideration of what an art and digital culture festival can be, and should be. The fact that the indefinite article “a,” finds its place in the title of this volume (as opposed to the definite article “the”) indicates a desire that it be a contribution to an ongoing discussion rather than a definitive statement. While it participates in discussions about the festival as a format and site of the post-digital, it also takes part in the wider discussions in art, media, and design about the kinds of practices we need to develop to begin understanding what sort of scales of operation we are dealing with in contemporary culture.

The post-anthropocentric is one response, but one that demands specification: if the human is not the center of action, then what is? Infrastructures, ecologies, processes? How is that elusive notion of the nonhuman to be situated in relation to media in the post-digital age? How can such contextualizing reveal the equally elusive notion of media? How might the post-digital offer new means of critically linking technology, culture, and nature? The collected contributions reinforce the case for the post-digital perspective outlined here, though the articles are not limited to explicitly theorizing (or even necessarily mentioning) the term post-digital. The underlying methodologies and critical thinking implied by this concept are in focus rather than the term’s specific use and canonization. Nonetheless, we want to outline some concerns of the post-digital approaches taken in this volume that may serve as starting points.

Concerns of the Post-digital

The methodologies and critical thinking implied by post-digital as a term are roughly sorted into the book’s three sections: “Imaginaries,” “Interventions,” and “Ecologies.” Each comes with a short section introduction followed by a mix of in-depth articles and artist contributions in a variety of formats. The three sections are informed by a need to discuss how the post-digital condition is concretely expressed on temporal, action-based, and systemic scales. The contributions take up the challenge to make tangible the ever-elusive relationships between technology, society, and culture, which we feel are accelerated in the post-digital to a point where nonhuman assemblages of technology and nature take on agencies of their own. Rather than repeating the doomsday scenarios of a technological world out of control or the next ecological catastrophe, or proclaiming the coming Singularity moment when humans and machines will finally liberate themselves from physical reality in some fevered Cartesian fantasy, the book’s division along separate but intertwining themes reflects the complexity of post-digital contingencies. Instead of a naive attempt to predict “what’s next” or “the next big thing,” the term is itself an attachment to the continuation and revision of earlier types of cultural production and discourse in ways that post-communism, post-feminism and postcolonialism signaled as well.11 It allows us to understand the material complexities of digital culture beyond the clichés of zeroes and ones, including the material instantiations of devices, which might be partly controlled by informational processes but are irreducible to a phantasm of an immaterial reality of data. Instead, seemingly obsolete practices reemerge like zine culture and analog printing techniques, as Alessandro Ludovico writes about in his essay for the “Imaginaries” section and the digital itself is being questioned in new, critical ways, even in mainstream culture.12

Imaginaries

The current questioning of the digital and appropriation of “old” techno-cultural practices signal a new hybridization of artistic production, which Florian Cramer so well described in his 2014 text “What is ‘Post-digital?’” He writes:

“Post-digital” is arguably more than just a sloppy descriptor for a contemporary (and possibly nostalgic) cultural trend. It is an objective fact that the age in which we now live is not a post-digital age, neither in terms of technological developments with no end in sight to the trend towards further digitization and computerization nor from a historico-philosophical perspective.13

As previously mentioned, post-digital seems to shift the coordinates of debates surrounding technological culture to a more fluid sense of past and future, now and then, material and immaterial. However, as Cramer also indicates in that essay and in his contribution to this book, it is in danger of becoming just another name for a period that sets a temporal coordinate system in place, as has happened with terms like postmodern, which is counter to the general impulse behind the term’s invention.14 In order to avoid this reduction, a useful perspective is that of the imaginary, in which the post-digital challenges consensual models of reality and techno-rationalist discourse. For instance, in this section artist group YoHa explore the “gray media” of daily life, that is, “technical objects that can be thought of as marginal and recessive” the often boring or seemingly banal background objects in which the artists find imaginative potential.15

The idea of the imaginary strongly resonates with another key field of the past years, media archaeology. Both share a vibrant interest in the practice-theory continuum, and both aim to develop critical insights that work through alternative imaginaries of time; as opposed to a sanitized linear sense of media cultural progress. Media archaeology has offered this by way of case studies and by way of methodologies that reach out to media culture as a cyclical, micro-temporal, or even deep-temporal regime of cultural production.16 Baruch Gottlieb and Dmytri Kleiner, part of the artist group Telekommunisten, describe a project from their Miscommunication Technologies series that reimagines pneumatic mail system technology and becomes a relational machine of sorts. And, following up on her performance The Collapse of PAL, in her contribution Rosa Menkman similarly reflects on what is lost in translation when one relational machine is phased out by another, “newer” media.

Considering media history and contemporary culture in a recursive relationship opens a similar agenda and a conversation between media theory and post-digital practices. Reading the past changes how we see the present, and an analysis of the present changes how we understand the past.17 With his contribution, Dieter Daniels retraces the history and continual historicization of media art, discussing both the field’s initial phase of institutionalization and later phase of crisis in the context of the post-digital. This resonates with a focus on shifting terminology, as media art is increasingly replaced with the concept of “art & tech”: for her contribution, Olia Lialina hones in on the use of words like “technology” that are often taken for granted to describe our contemporary condition, but whose meaning has in fact shifted and been instrumentalized over time. Such a task is not merely about hermeneutics of interpretation but about how we actually deal with the material world around us and how the material world itself radically alters fundamental questions about the human in contexts of affect and non-conscious cognition.

Interventions

Media historical themes become part and parcel of how we negotiate the contemporary. In other words, they become involved in a political recalibration that functions both as an analytical focus and an affective mood that necessitates more than contemplation, interpretation, or analysis. Much of the legacy of critical cultural studies and feminist studies is present in positions that see theory as practice, and practice as a situated form of intervention; Cornelia Sollfrank provides a detailed historical overview of how cyberfeminists approached practice-as-intervention. As many artist-activists testify through their own work, taking action is becoming ever more urgent at the same time as it is faced by seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Such aporias seem central to much post-digital artistic production. In this volume alone, some of the featured artistic works, such as Geraldine Juárez’s Hello Bitcoin or Julian Oliver and Danja Vasiliev’s PRISM (in the text “Quarantined”), provide a startling range of calls to (in-)action prompted by the intersection of technological and geopolitical conditions and the unavoidable resistance they demand. Further, part of the legacy of the Snowden leaks has been its implications for network politics, media activism, and interventions. As Clemens Apprich and Ned Rossiter write in their contribution in this book: “Post-Snowden, one senses a much broader general suspicion, if not informed critique, of digital communication infrastructures as technologies of capture, which distinguish themselves not so much through their unique selling proposition as through their insignificance.” Indeed, one can easily observe the critical awareness of politics of the networks and their infrastructures that has penetrated mainstream publicity as well as user practices. See Daphne Dragona in this volume for a reflection on the subversive potential of artists engaging with new network politics.

Users are increasingly aware and involved in the systems they use such as changing DNS settings, using VPN connections, installing TOR, and, in certain communities, taking part in cryptoparties to educate each other about the ways in which the leaky computer can be somewhat controlled. This type of awareness has, however, emerged alongside a broader awareness of the insufficiency of existing political tactics of resis-tance, which are often coded or anticipated by the system that was the issue in the first place. Such co-option of technological potential is what leads Tiziana Terranova to propose “the construction of a machinic infrastructure of the common” in her essay for this book. Hence, both in terms of technological platforms and solutions and in terms of inventing new methods of political resistance, we can speak of the need for post-digital interventions as the “art of insubordination,” to use Geoffroy de Lagasnerie’s phrase from his text on the topic. New political figures such as Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning have had a massive impact in shifting the focus of the debate and exposing mechanisms of violence in so-called liberal democracies. Not merely a personification of political questions, these actors become metonymic of what counts as the political, and questions of infrastructure become ways to address the asymmetry inherent in internet politics. It should remain a leading task to reveal and disrupt the systemic nature of how organizations and institutions express forms of power, and in this section Tatiana Bazzichelli offers an important self-reflection by examining the boundaries of the media art festival itself as an institution and discussing its relations to the networks around it. Examining systems is especially important when dealing with digital forms of soft power that depend on calculative and predictive regimes, which present themselves as “natural” and self-evident. Erica Scourti creates a necessary friction against these regimes with her poetic intervention into the language of prediction, titled “Think You Know Me.”

Ecologies

The real becoming-natural of technology takes place on a basic level of physical and human resources, as explored in one of the artistic works previously featured at the festival and documented in this book. In his essayistic film, Lettres au Voyant, Louis Henderson travels to Ghana’s technological-waste repositories in a reenactment of travelogues of the colonial era, their search for riches and adventure now juxtaposed with environmental devastation, rendering visible the invisible ends of supply chains of medial development. Given the seeming naturalization of the digital and its intertwinement with geopolitics and new regimes of resource extraction and geo-engineering with impacts of planetary scale, the work on the emergent, messy ecologies of information, on the human and the nonhuman, as well as on technological infrastructure has gained much currency in the past years. Zooming in on one aspect of these new ecologies, Benjamin H. Bratton explores human-bot interactions in his text for this section. From a different angle, Ryan Bishop delves into questions of human and nonhuman cognition in his text on remote sensing systems, seeking to locate the political subject within this new landscape.

Accordingly, another phrase for the post-digital is voiced as “critical infrastructure,” which was also taken up as a title of a project by Jamie Allen and David Gauthier, an artistic research and production residency in which they “speculated what it might be to look ‘down,’ into, and through the sediments of a technological present.” Apprich and Rossiter provide a theoretical framework for projects that orient themselves around the term. “Infrastructures are critical because they are always-already in crisis,” they write in their contribution.18 The fact that infrastructure is what ensures that our end-user experience stays intact as smooth and harmonious may not be much of a surprise to anyone even remotely familiar with the longer legacy of infrastructure studies, but the ways in which artistic and design practices and contemporary network theory are refocusing on the topic is itself worth noting. Making infrastructure critical becomes a gesture of rescaling attention to such sites and to the processes where scales meet. It also places attention on human operators, technological systems, the imposing force of standards, and other gray media that take agency when platforms become distributed sites for the user. Thus, new concepts and terms partially technical, partially political emerge in the vocabulary of governance.19

As another approach to infrastructural analysis, Keller Easterling calls for a consideration of infrastructure’s disposition rather than solely its mechanisms and effects, in order to understand the tendencies and affects behind it. Going beyond mere analysis of the imperial forces of infrastructure operative in contemporary digital culture, the various contributions to this volume offer theory- and practice-based ways to engage with this multiscalar reality. From the invisibility of the boring technologies that structure the flow of everyday life in YoHa’s project Evil Media to the proclamation of an accelerated era of “Additivist” technological practices in Daniel Rourke and Morehshin Allahyari’s 3D Additivist Manifesto, this reader, just like transmediale itself, revels in the ambiguity of the post-digital while trying to promote critical understandings of it. This ecology is not mere background but an active part of making and being made a dynamic reality that works both as natural and unnatural: made of nature and its constant technological modulation. transmediale festival works, then, as a situated episodic structure that stages various ways to understand and intervene in this ecology.

Sites and Futures of the Post-digital

In this reader, evolving perspectives of the above-mentioned themes as well as others are taken up from a number of different critical angles and modes of examination. The chapters discuss current predicaments of media art and critical net culture, and their relations to research, the art world, and civil society. In the spirit of Gegenöffentlichkeit, or counter-public, in which transmediale was founded at the end of the 1980s, we also want to demonstrate how transdisciplinary artists, researchers and technology activists can foster much-needed post-digital media literacy. This task is very much tied to an evaluation of the manifold institutional situations in which the post-digital takes place. Over the years, the transmediale festival has attempted to curate ideas and practices useful over a sustained period of time, rejecting the clichéd view that media technological change has been (and continues to be) too rapid for us to understand. Such a long-term perspective avoids the often recurring reductive approach taken to digital culture in mainstream cultural debates. By curating its cultural program along the lines of long-term engagement, transmediale attempts to cultivate artistic work in a politically significant and critical way. In the process, the festival has become an important long-running international platform for exchanges between artistic and academic research on technological development and their entry into wider public domains.

The context of transmediale as a festival of and in media technological culture has, however, fundamentally changed over the years. This change, of course, applies to all cultural institutions, from museums and galleries to archives, libraries, and universities, as all have faced new situations with digital technologies entering their walls, organizational structures, and activities. Besides a technological change in how we think of accessibility of archival storage and display, their logistical placement and movement, and their status as objects of cultural heritage, these changes have to be read against the backdrop of the past decades of austerity politics that have hit national public sectors particularly hard. A shift from the public function of cultural institutions to their infiltration by private infrastructures and platforms (such as the Google Cultural Institute, or, on a smaller scale, the outsourcing of institutional communication, resource management, and other systems to private providers) is the other end of the political economic transformation that also falls under the cultural marker of the post-digital. Treating cultural institutions as data institutions is an important, perhaps necessary, approach, but so is treating data as embedded in situations of asymmetrical power relations and complex political economies.20 The post-digital examination of the fraught nexus of cultural and academic institutions in relation to state and non-state policies and actors demands explorations of transversal gaps as sites of potential change, recalibration, and critical reflection. Concurrent with the emergence of the digital and post-digital, as well as the solidification of neoliberal political economies, has been the rapid increase in programs and labs committed to collaborative experimentation in art and technology. The current prominence of art and technology labs in the context of the resurgence of collaborative practice in the arts involves not only those of artists, but also a wide range of cross-disciplinary groupings of designers, scientists, engineers, scholars, and others. The push for collaboration in the arts is part of a reevaluation of the meaning of “research” as it is understood by arts practitioners, given their expanded engagement in a range of contexts beyond galleries and museums and into, among other places, universities, businesses, and science and tech labs. At the same time, the massive growth of the tech sector has given rise to a new generation of speculative research enterprises, from Google to SpaceX, which share the expansive research and development (R&D) horizons of advanced art.

As these collaborative practices become identified as productive and profitable in a time of reduced budgets, savvy museums, galleries, companies, and universities see an opportunity. The convergence of entrepreneurial precarity and a marginalized avant-garde are pulled together in the new labs, many of which are made possible by the explosion in digital experimentation and also the discourse of the digital innovation economy. Concurrently, of course, the media technologies celebrated by Stewart Brand and other pioneering figures of counterculture emerged largely out of military R&D. One can justifiably claim that there is a convergence in the early twenty-first century of Cold War alliances with slightly modified actors and agents. Grasping the repetitions and variations of historical trajectories directs us to the “post” in post-digital, in order to examine the rollback of the possibility for alternative, not to mention radical, politics in the contemporary moment. The chance for real research separate from monetization or weaponization becomes increasingly elusive. The teleological drive of the scientific method under the guises of “problem-solving” and “unintended discovery” often thwarts the radical collectivity from realizing its aesthetic, political, or sociopedagogical goals. And where can the “politically possible” reside when avant-garde “disruption” has become the clichéd mantra of universities, entrepreneurs, and the military? What sort of alternative institutional forms can carry over the earlier critical and ethically productive functions of public institutions? Such challenges delineate post-digital artistic production and theorization, informing the critical direction of this volume and the ongoing project(s) of transmediale and its research collaborations.

This text is the introduction to across & beyond – A transmediale Reader on Post-digital Practices, Concepts, and Institutions, a publication developed by transmediale e.V. and Winchester School of Arts, University of Southampton. You can preorder your copy now for € 15,- plus portage or grab it at transmediale 2017 ever elusive.

 

1 Franz Kafka, The Castle, trans. Mark Harman (New York: Schocken Books, 1998 [1926]).
2 Bernhard Siegert, Cultural Techniques: Grids, Filters, Doors, and Other Articulations of the Real, trans. Geoffrey Winthrop-Young (New York: Fordham University Press, 2015), 28.
3 The term “post-digital” first played an important part at transmediale in 2013 with the instigation of a “Post-digital Publishing” workshop by Alessandro Ludovico, Florian Cramer, and Simon Worthington, inspired by Alessandro Ludovico’s book Post-digital Print: The Mutation of Publishing since 1894 (Eindhoven: Onomatopee, 2011). Since then, its use has been broadened far beyond the context of print and publishing, but transmediale’s approach still shares the original premise of the workshop (and book that preceded it). Just as Ludovico’s book invited readers to reflect on the significance of print at its point of transformation — or even supposed disappearance — into the digital, this anthology attempts to offer post-digital perspectives on various aspects of media culture in transition.
4 See Florian Cramer, “What Is ‘Post-digital’?,” in A Peer-Reviewed Journal About 3, no. 1 (2014) http://www.aprja.net/?p=1318.
5 See Siegfried Zielinski, […After the Media], trans. Gloria Custance (Minneapolis: Univocal, 2013).
6 Bernhard Siegert, Cultural Techniques, 7–10.
7 Jussi Parikka, A Geology of Media (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015). Nicole Starosielski, “The Thermocultures of Geological Media,” Cultural Politics 12:3 (forthcoming November 2016). Shannon Mattern, “Of Mud, Media, and the Metropolis: Aggregating Histories of Writing and Urbanization,” Cultural Politics 12:3 (forthcoming November 2016).
8 Paul Saint-Amour, Tense Future: Modernism, Total War, Encylopedic Form (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 12–13.
9 See Parikka, A Geology of Media; see also Siegfried Zielinski, Deep Time of the Media, trans. Gloria Custance (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006).
10 This stance echoes writings such as Matthew Fuller, Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005).
11 Florian Cramer, “What Is ‘Post-digital’?,” in A Peer-Reviewed Journal About 3, no. 1 (2014) http://www.aprja.net/?p=1318.
12 Ibid.
13 Cramer, “What Is ‘Post-digital’?”
14 Geoff Cox, “The Post-digital and the Problem of Temporality,” in Postdigital Aesthetics: Art Computation, and Design, eds. David M. Berry and Michael Dieter (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2015), 151–162.
15 YoHa’s project from transmediale 2013 built further on the notion of “evil media” as developed in Matthew Fuller and Andrew Goffey, Evil Media (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012).
16 For an overview, see Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications and Implications, eds. Erkki Huhtamo and Jussi Parikka (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011). See also Thomas Elsaesser, Film History as Media Archaeology (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2016).
17 Geoffrey Winthrop-Young, “Siren Recursions,” in Kittler Now: Current Perspectives in Kittler Studies, eds. Stephen Sale and Laura Salisbury (Cambridge: Polity, 2015), 91.
18 See also Alessandra Renzi and Greg Elmer, Infrastructure Critical: Sacrifice at Toronto’s G8/G20 Summit (Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2012).
19 See Benjamin H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press 2016).
20 The Internet of Cultural Things-project (AHRC award number AH/M010015/1) has been developing approaches to address the library as a post-digital computational system that is comprised of its infrastructure and flows of data: https://internetofculturalthings.com. Through the artistic intervention of Richard Wright as an artist in residence at the British Library, the project has developed new methods for a situated, institution-specific approach to cultural data.

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