Shift Register is a research project by Martin Howse, Jonathan Kemp and Jamie Allen (Critical Media Lab), investigating how human media, technological and infrastructural activities have marked the earth.
Shift Register investigates and renders legible the material evidence of human activities on the earth, registering these not as indicators of human achievement, but as ambiguous negotiations and signposts of planetary exhaustion. The project undertakes fieldwork and research re-routed from the natural and physical sciences as the means to bear witness to these sites of human impact. Project outputs (writings, media, and works for exhibition) seek to complicate environmental science with other cultural, affective, inter- and subcultural perspectives in order to take into account the complexity and always contradictory nature of the energetic and communications infrastructuring of the earth.
The project investigates a single impact site, and translates earth media and findings to a specifically developed Earth Lab, a research, workshop, and exhibition location. The Earth Lab is both a conceptual and local outdoor working environment, a structure that serves as longitudinal, comparative site through the two years of the project. At the Earth Lab, material samples are mediated, presented, and documented, media documentation and dispatches are prepared, and public project discussions take place.
Shift Register is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the help and interest of a community of practitioners, advisors and friends, including: Christoph Küffer, Bronwyn Lay, Orit Halpern, Paul Boshears, Eric Berger, Merle Ibach, RIXC, and many, many others.