Colloquium | Jussi Parikka

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 12:00pm

Jussi Parikka

Where’s Media Theory: On Labs and Other Situated Practices

Laboratories, or more colloquially “labs”, are a central part of current discussions about media practices, humanities infrastructure and the project-based nature of both artistic and academic labor. Labs appear in Digital Humanities while enjoying a longer history in media, art and technology as sites of interdisciplinary practice. A variety of desires are invested in labs; they are imagined as the hubs of experimental, collaborative and interdisciplinary activity while at least rhetorically aiming to attach to the legacy of the 20th century artistic avant-garde.

This talk examines some of the current forms of labs as backbones of media theory. Especially in fields such as media archaeology, situated practices have become one way to build particular sites of practice that extend the work of theory in alternative ways as well as opening up questions as to what does infrastructure mean for theoretical activity.

The talk draws on the collective research project What is a Media Lab? (

Jussi Parikka is Professor in Technological Culture & Aesthetics at the University of Southampton’s Winchester School of Art. He is the author or editor of several books on media archaeology, technological arts and digital culture, including Insect Media (2010), What is Media Archaeology? (2012), A Geology of Media (2015), Digital Contagions (2nd revised ed. 2016) and Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History: Erkki Kurenniemi in 2048 (2015, together with Joasia Krysa).

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