Digital Media Ecologies

Digital Media Ecologies

Author: Sy Taffel

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9781501349263

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

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Our digital world is often described using terms such as immateriality and virtuality. The discourse of cloud computing is the latest in a long line of nebulous, dematerialising tropes which have come to dominate how we think about information and communication technologies. Digital Media Ecologies argues that such rhetoric is highly misleading, and that engaging with the key cultural, agential, ethical and political impacts of contemporary media requires that we do not just engage with the surface level of content encountered by the end users of digital media, but that we must additionally consider the affordances of software and hardware. Whilst numerous existing approaches explore content, software and hardware individually, Digital Media Ecologies provides a critical intervention by insisting that addressing contemporary technoculture requires a synthetic approach that traverses these three registers. Digital Media Ecologies re-envisions the methodological approach of media ecology to go beyond the metaphor of a symbolic information environment that exists alongside a material world of tantalum, turtles and tornados. It illustrates the social, cultural, political and environmental impacts of contemporary media assemblages through examples that include mining conflict-sustaining minerals, climate change blogging, iOS jailbreaking, and the ecological footprint of contemporary computing infrastructures. Alongside foregrounding the deleterious social and environmental impacts of digital technologies, the book considers numerous ways that these issues are being tackled by a heterogeneous array of activists, academics, hackers, scientists and citizens using the same technological assemblages that ostensibly cause these problems.
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