Profiles

Jussi Parikka is a writer, a media theorist and Professor in Technological Culture and Aesthetics at Winchester Art School (University of Southampton) and recently also a Visiting Scholar at FAMU in Prague. He is concerned mainly with contemporary culture theory, philosophy, contemporary art, cyber-culture and digital culture. He has contributed significantly to the field of materiality of media, which he analyzes from the viewpoint of philosophy of new materialism. He deals with the relationship between nature and technologies using the term medianatures, which is a clear reference to naturecultures of Donna Haraway. In 2011 he was the editor of Medianatures: The Materiality of Information Technology and Electronic Waste.

He uses the term anthropocene in a very critical manner, which is clear in his essay The Anthrobscene (2012), using for its title the combination of the words anthropocene and obscene. Parikka says in the text that using the word obscene is understandable if we think of the indefensible, politically questionable and unethical practices connected with the mining of metals and the subsequent production of our electronic devices. This play on words serves to emphasize how urgent our contemporary situation is and the fact that we are heading for the sixth mass extincition caused by man. It is an appeal not to turn away from geological and political consequences of media and new technologies and to look at the media through media geology.
In his latest book called A Geology of Media published in 2015 he deals again with geology of media and points out that ethics, culture and last but not least politics are closely related to geology. To fully understand the culture of media we need to take into account what preceeded the media – geological formations, minerals or sources of energy. All this plays an important role in the production of electronic devices which media mediate. The geology of media is also connected with media ecology which deals for example with the impact of media and devices connected with media, the growing amount of electronic waste as well as geographical and globalization proportions of media.

Among other Parikka´s books let us mention for instance Insect Media (2010), in which he points out that our perception of the media is strongly anthropocentric. According to Marshall McLuhan, if we perceive the media as an extension of man, we ignore all the other entities and organisms which had an influence on the development of media – such as insects for example. Parikka refers to social organizations of insects which served as models for modern technologies, e.g. the key term net comes from the world of insects. Last but not least Parikka is active in the field of media archaeology which deals with forgotten media as well as with forgotten approaches to media and technologies. He believes that we cannot think of the future without taking into account our past.

Natálie Drtinová

video graphic design: Zdeněk Růžička

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