::fibreculture:: The Fibreculture Journal 17—Unnatural Ecologies, edited by Michael Goddard and Jussi Parikka

Andrew Murphie andrew.murphie at gmail.com
Wed May 18 12:31:38 CEST 2011

*Unnatural Ecologies*


many thanks to Mat Wall-Smith, the Journal Manager, who has now enabled pdf
and epub downloads of all articles and of the whole issue in file.


*We are pleased to launch issue 17 of the Fibreculture Journal—Unnatural
Ecologies, edited by Michael Goddard and Jussi Parikka*

FCJ-114 Towards an Archaeology of Media Ecologies: ‘Media Ecology’,
Political Subjectivation and Free Radios
Michael Goddard

FCJ-115 Autocreativity and Organisational Aesthetics in Art Platforms
Olga Goriunova

FCJ-116 Media Ecologies and Imaginary Media: Transversal Expansions,
Contractions, and Foldings
Jussi Parikka

FCJ-117 Four Regimes of Entropy: For an Ecology of Genetics and Biomorphic
Media Theory
Matteo Pasquinelli

FCJ-118 Faulty Theory
Matthew Fuller

FCJ-119 Subjectivity in the Ecologies of P2P Production
Phoebe Moore

This issue is an exercise in media ecology that is paradoxically unnatural.
Instead of assuming a natural connection to the established tradition of
Media Ecology in the Toronto-school fashion of Marshall McLuhan, Neil
Postman, and the work of scholars involved in the Media Ecology Association
(http://www.media-ecology.org/media_ecology/), our issue stems from another
direction; its theoretical orientation is more inspired by the work of Felix
Guattari and engages with several overlapping ecologies that are
aesthetico-political in their nature. It stems from a more politically
oriented way of understanding the various scales and layers through which
media are articulated together with politics, capitalism and nature, in
which processes of media and technology cannot be detached from
subjectivation. In this context, media ecology is itself a vibrant sphere of
dynamics and turbulences including on its technical level. Technology is not
only a passive surface for the inscription of meanings and signification,
but a material assemblage that partakes in machinic ecologies. And, instead
of assuming that ‘ecologies’ are by their nature natural (even if
naturalizing perhaps in terms of their impact on capacities of sensation and
thought) we assume them as radically contingent and dynamic, in other words
as prone to change.

The concept of media ecology was revived in 2005 by Matthew Fuller’s
theoretically novel take on the idea. His Media Ecologies: Materialist
Energies in Art and Technoculture set out to map the ‘dynamic
interrelation[s] of processes and objects, beings and things, patterns and
matter’ (Fuller 2005: 2) in a culture where the relation between materiality
and information has been redefined. Steering clear of earlier celebrations
of media as informational environments which dismiss any connection with the
physical as for example with the cyberculture of the 1980s and 1990s –
Fuller is keen to map out how we can develop a material vocabulary for media
ecological processes. The roots of such a vocabulary—that bends itself to
the intensive connections of pirate radios and voice, the photographic
medium and the Internet as well as such informational entities as memes—come
from Whitehead, Simondon, Nietzsche as well as Guattari and contemporary
writers such as Katherine N. Hayles. What emerges is a different genealogy
for theories of media ecology.

What was demonstrated already in Fuller’s take on the concept was a special
appreciation of material practices involved in establishing the regimes of
media ecologies. Media ecologies are quite often understood by Fuller
through artistic/activist practices rather than pre-formed theories, which
precisely work through the complex media layers in which on the one hand
subjectivation and agency are articulated and, on the other hand, the
materiality of informational objects gets distributed, dispersed and takes
effect. Media ecological platforms can be seen to range from network
environments for philosophy and media activism as in Rekombinant (
http://www.rekombinant.org) to art platforms on the net such as Runme.org (
http://runme.org/). Related themes can be detected in the various
negotiations of nature being remixed, resurfaced, revisualized or sonified
through media environments. Examples include  Natalie Jeremijenko’s work,
the Harwood-Yokokoji-Wright Eco Media collaboration (featured in Parikka
-this Issue), biological art projects such as Amy Youngs’s The Digestive
Table (2006, http://hypernatural.com/digestive.html), the work of
activist/artistic groupings like Critical Art Ensemble, the Yes Men or the
Wu Ming foundation and various bioart projects of recent years. In all these
cases a dynamic media ecology is generated, incorporating natural, technical
and informational components and giving rise to singular processes of
subjectivation that are equally an essential part of the media ecology.



*The Fibreculture Journal* is a peer reviewed international journal, first
published in 2003 to explore the issues and ideas of concern to both the
Fibreculture network.

*The Fibreculture Journal* now serves wider social formations across the
international community of those thinking critically about, and working
with, contemporary digital and networked media.

*The Fibreculture Journal* has an international Editorial Board and
Committee <http://fibreculturejournal.org/policy-and-style/>.

In 2008, *the Fibreculture Journal* became a part of the Open Humanities
Press <http://openhumanitiespress.org/> , a key initiative in the
development of the Open Access journal community.
The journal encourages critical and speculative interventions in the debate
and discussions concerning a wide range of topics of interest. These include
the social and cultural contexts, philosophy and politics of contemporary
media technologies and events, with a special emphasis on the ongoing
social, technical and conceptual transitions involved.


"A traveller, who has lost his way, should not ask, Where am I? What he
really wants to know is, Where are the other places" - Alfred North

Andrew Murphie - Associate Professor
School of English, Media and Performing Arts, University of New South Wales,
Sydney, Australia, 2052
Editor - The Fibreculture Journal http://fibreculturejournal.org/>
web: http://www.andrewmurphie.org/  http://dynamicmedianetwork.org/

fax:612 93856812 tlf:612 93855548 email: a.murphie at unsw.edu.au
room 311H, Webster Building
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