On Practices of Theory: Labs and Trans(versality)

Open to the Public
Nador u. 9, Monument Building
Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 5:30pm
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 5:30pm

The Department of Gender Studies 

                                                                                                                                                                  2016-2017 Public Lecture Series



Dr. Jussi Parikka

On Practices of Theory: Labs and Trans(versality)


Who would not want to have a lab? It is nowadays the desired place of humanities too, instead of merely teaching in a class room or being in a library, or working in an archive. Largely because of digital humanities, labs have become central part of the humanities debates when speaking of methods, infrastructures and, indeed, sites. Exactly because of this interest, it is important to look at predecessors and histories of how labs have featured in the humanities in ways that is irreducible to only DH or media labs as such. Besides the lineages of digital humanities, one finds examples of speculative computing (Johanna Drucker) but also such curious and important predecessors of lab practice of theory as the ActLab (Advanced Communication Technologies Laboratory) directed by Allucquére Rosanne Stone. While the ActLab was subsequently shut down, it has spurred interesting ideas of how to articulate theory as a situated practice and the lab as a site of critical activity that also feeds as part of contemporary debates in new materialism and gender studies. This talk will address this particular to labs as sites of theoretical work that itself takes the form of a transversal practice (as something that stems both from the ACTlab and for example Felix Guattari’s work).


Jussi Parikka is professor at the University of Southampton’s Winchester School of Art. He has published widely on media archaeology as well as media ecology, including the book trilogy: Digital Contagions (2007, 2nd new edition 2016), Insect Media (2010) and recently, A Geology of Media (2015). Recently he co-edited with Joasia Krysa the book on the Finnish media art pioneer, Erkki Kurenniemi, titled Writing and Unwriting (Media) Art History: Erkki Kurenniemi in 2048. He is currently working on a book on humanities and media labs with Lori Emerson and Darren Wershler. The project page can be founded here: http://whatisamedialab.com/