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Insect Media : An Archaeology of Animals and Technology - Jussi Parikka

Insect Media

An Archaeology of Animals and Technology

Paperback Published: 20th December 2010
ISBN: 9780816667406
Number Of Pages: 281

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Since the early nineteenth century, when entomologists first popularized the unique biological and behavioral characteristics of insects, technological innovators and theorists have proposed insects as templates for a wide range of technologies. In "Insect Media," Jussi Parikka 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, providing a radical new perspective on the interconnection of biology and technology.
Through close engagement with the pioneering work of insect ethologists, including Jakob von Uexkull and Karl von Frisch, posthumanist philosophers, media theorists, and contemporary filmmakers and artists, Parikka develops an insect theory of media, one that conceptualizes modern media as more than the products of individual human actors, social interests, or technological determinants. They are, rather, profoundly nonhuman phenomena that both draw on and mimic the alien lifeworlds of insects.
Deftly moving from the life sciences to digital technology, from popular culture to avant-garde art and architecture, and from philosophy to cybernetics and game theory, Parikka provides innovative conceptual tools for exploring the phenomena of network society and culture. Challenging anthropocentric approaches to contemporary science and culture, "Insect Media" reveals the possibilities that insects and other nonhuman animals offer for rethinking media, the conflation of biology and technology, and our understanding of, and interaction with, contemporary digital culture.

"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." --Eugene Thacker, author of After Life

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introduction Insects in the Age of Technologyp. ix
Nineteenth-Century Insect Technicsp. 1
The Uncanny Affects of Insects
Genesis of Formp. 27
Insect Architecture and Swarms
Technics of Nature and Temporalityp. 57
Uexküll's Ethology
Metamorphosis, Intensity, and Devouring Spacep. 85
Elements for an Insect Game Theory
Intermezzop. 113
Animal Ensembles, Robotic Affectsp. 121
Bees, Milieus, and Individuation
Biomorphs and Boidsp. 145
Swarming Algorithms
Sexual Selection in the Biodigitalp. 169
Teknolust and the Weird Life of SRAs
Epilogue Insect Media as an Art of Transmutationp. 195
Notesp. 207
Indexp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780816667406
ISBN-10: 0816667403
Series: Posthumanities
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 281
Published: 20th December 2010
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.96 x 13.34  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.38