Middle Session: The Elemental Middle

03.02.2017 11:30

Moderated by Elvia Wilk

As media steadily melt into the environment, they become both more naturalized and estranged in the sense that we understand the way they work less and less. The "Elemental" Middle Session highlights the unnoticeable media we live and work among, focusing equally on their material (technical) properties and their cultural meanings. Rather than relying on the worn-out critical mechanisms of "revealing what lies beneath" or "exposing hidden truths," the discussion focuses on de-naturalization and re-familiarization. Speakers discuss areas of infrastructural intersection and entanglement, identifying ways in which structures of power reinforce each other through ubiquitous media. What are the "elemental" substrates of contemporary media? Is it helpful or possible to try and reduce a complex ecosystem of human and nonhuman actors to its elementary particles?