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Winchester School of Art

Jussi Parikka's Insect Media wins Anne Friedberg book award

Published: 12 March 2012

The Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media is proud to announce that Dr Jussi Parikka, Reader in Media & Design, MA Coordinator for the Department of Graphics, Art and Media, at the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, and Senior Fellow of the Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media, has won the prestigious Anne Friedberg Book Award for his book Insect Media. An Archaeology of Animals and Technology.

Parikka, J. (2010) Insect Media. An Archaeology of Animals and Technology. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Insect Media has won the Society for Cinema and Media Studies  Anne Friedberg book award 2012 — awarded annually for Innovative Scholarship. Dr Parikka says he is especially honoured to win this particular prize, which carries forward the legacy of the late Professor Friedberg, who became one of the leading figures in arts and humanities for her fresh insights into cinema theory and media history. Friedberg’s work, according to Dr Parikka, has since the 1990s pointed at the way in which we should be expanding media studies into new theories and fields of investigation: “Her work was also one of the early inspirations for media archaeological research which has given us ideas of how to understand the emerging digital culture through the past.”
“The award is not only a personal achievement, but also a great way to acknowledge the leading interdisciplinary research of the Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media, which sits firmly on the crossroads between art, technology and cultural theory” Parikka added.

The jury had this to say about Insect Media:
“Combining philosophy, theory, history and archival research, Parikka presents ‘forms of swarm culture in terms of new architectures to offer insights into networked media and the media environments we live in.’ The book’s style and writing is energetic, cohesive and enlightening. Moving between early underwater films to cyber theory (biodigitality), the book is full of erudite reflections on Spinoza, algorithms, ticks, Umwelt, and contemporary culture.”
For more about the Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award:
The Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award recognizes the best new scholarly work that exemplifies rigorous, interdisciplinary and theoretical inquiry into issues of vision and visuality. Funded by a generous gift from her estate, the Anne Friedberg Award recognizes innovative work that expands the discipline of film and media studies, emphasizing its relationship to other visual fields, including architecture, art history, and digital media. Believing that “how the world is framed may be as important as what is contained within that frame,” Friedberg was known for her intellectually agile examination of the increasingly visual nature of contemporary culture and its representation on a gamut of screens: at movie theaters, on televisions and computers, on iPhones, BlackBerrys and other hand-held devices. The author of two books on these subjects, Window Shopping: Cinema and the Postmodern (1994) and The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft (2006), Anne Friedberg was President-Elect of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies before her untimely death in 2009.

For more information about Insect Media:
Uncovering the insect logic that informs contemporary media technologies and the network society.

Insect Media analyzes how insect forms of social organization—swarms, hives, webs, and distributed intelligence—have been used to structure modern media technologies and the network society. Through close engagement with the pioneering work of insect ethologists, posthumanist philosophers, media theorists, and contemporary filmmakers and artists, Jussi Parikka provides a radical new perspective on the interconnection of biology and technology.

“With Insect Media, Jussi Parikka offers a theory of media that challenges our traditional views of the natural and the artificial. Parikka not only understands insects through the lens of media and mediation, he also unearths an insect logic at the heart of our contemporary fascination with networks, swarming, and intelligent agents. Such a project requires the ability to interweave cultural theory with a deep understanding of the sciences—something for which Parikka is well-suited. Most importantly, Insect Media reminds us of the non-human aspect of media, communication, intelligence. Insect Media is a book that is sure to create a buzz.” – professor Eugene Thacker, New School (New York)

Dr Parikka’s forthcoming book, What is Media Archaeology is due out in May 2012 with Polity Press:

This cutting-edge text offers an introduction to the emerging field of media archaeology and analyses the innovative theoretical and artistic methodology used to excavate current media through its past.
Written with a steampunk attitude, What is Media Archaeology? examines the theoretical challenges of studying digital culture and memory and opens up the sedimented layers of contemporary media culture. The author contextualizes media archaeology in relation to other key media studies debates including software studies, German media theory, imaginary media research, new materialism and digital humanities.
What is Media Archaeology? advances an innovative theoretical position while also presenting an engaging and accessible overview for students of media, film and cultural studies. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the interdisciplinary ties between art, technology and media.

To find out more about Dr Parikka and his exciting work in the field of media and digital culture find his personal webpage and blog on http://jussiparikka.net/

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