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The University of Southampton
Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media

Research Group: Media Transformations Group

Currently Active:

The group approaches technology and media writ large through its link to science, aesthetics and critical theory with a strong emphasis on artistic practices. Members of the group edit the journals Cultural Politics and serve as editorial board members of Theory, Culture & Society and The Journal of Visual Culture. They are the founding editors of two scholarly book series, Recursions: Theories of Media, Materiality and Cultural Techniques and Technicities. Key partners include The Science Museum Group and Berlin's major festival Transmediale.

The group approaches technology and media writ large through its link to science, aesthetics and critical theory with a strong emphasis on artistic practices. The group is interested in historical transformations of technological culture and the intersections of art and science. In addition, the group’s work moves across contemporary media to old media, as well as pushes new conceptual ideas for not only media and technology in transformation, but as agents for transforming our ideas of cultural reality.

With an understanding of technological design the group asks what are the conceptual and material underpinnings of how our contemporary culture is designed as and through technology and media. Current group projects include the geopolitical stakes of technology and science in contemporary media culture; the planetary condition, inclusive of the environment as well as the material transformations that include the orbital as a central concern of media; teletechnologies and their effects on perception and political agency; continuities of Cold War systems into the present; and the status of the image in various medial forms.


The main partnerships for the group are the internationally renowned art and digital culture festival transmediale (Berlin), the National Media Museum and the Media Space in the Science Museum (London), and The Consortium (explained below). As with all the partnerships of the Global Future centre, we aim to be a conduit for interaction and collaboration between our partners as well as through us.

The group’s activities with transmediale includes co-curating the academic content of the festival that annually presents over 20,000 visitors in Berlin with significant international visibility in the media art field. Not only do group members develop this academic content with the festival’s artistic director, they actively deliver it, often using their own research and research networks to do so.

The group is also part of The Consortium with The Department of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego and The Center for Transformative Media, Parsons School of Design, New School, NYC. The Consortium produces annual seminars, research meetings and outputs in the area of remote sensing, robotics, and art-science-technology collaboration.. The consortium delivered a panel at transmediale 2015.

A jointly planned and curated exhibition on remote sensing in San Diego, at UCSD, April 2015.

Conferences and exhibitions

The group members take active part in international conferences as invited keynotes and organise seminars at WSA, nationally and internationally. Such include the forthcoming panel at Archives 2.0: Saving the Past, Anticipating the Future-conference in Bradford at the National Media Museum. Co-curated with the NMM, the panel “Making the Invisible Visible: Activating Archives, Institutions and Platforms” includes Global Futures partners from transmediale and Tate. The group has also collaborated and co-organized events in Istanbul at Turkey’s leading cultural and contemporary art centre Salt, including seminars and film screenings.

Group members curate exhibitions with the University of Southampton and WSA’s John Hansard Gallery, including Barthes/Burgin (2015), Steve Beard and Victoria Halford (2015) and The Small Infinite (2014 with Lanfranco Aceti).


The group links to already existing publishing platforms: Jussi Parikka is the founding co-editor of a new book series Recursions: Theories of Media, Materiality and Cultural Techniques (Amsterdam University Press) and John Armitage, Ryan Bishop and Joanne Roberts' Technicities (Edinburgh University Press) which is a new series focusing on latest philosophical thinking about our increasingly immaterial technocultural conditions, with a unique focus on the context of art, design and media, as well as the journals Cultural Politics and Theory, Culture & Society .

The group publishes high quality academic outputs relevant to the fields of media, science and technology studies in artistic, experimental and critical context. The group organises events both at WSA and outside the university, engages in public debate on issues relevant to its core area as well as develops grant applications for future projects.


Members of the research group include but are not limited to Professor John Armitage, Professor Ryan Bishop, Professor Jussi Parikka, Dr Sunil Manghani Dr Seth Giddings, Rohit Dasgupta and Dr Dan Ashton.  If you are working in areas related to this group and wish to be involved in it, please contact any of these members.

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