Joanna Zylinska

Joanna Zylinska is a writer, lecturer, artist and curator, as well as Professor of New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. The author of six books— including Nonhuman Photography (MIT Press, 2017), Minimal Ethics for the Anthropocene (Open Humanities Press, 2014, e-version freely available) and Life after New Media: Mediation as a Vital Process (with Sarah Kember; MIT Press, 2012)—she is also a translator of Stanisław Lem’s philosophical treatise, Summa Technologiae (Minnesota UP, 2013). In 2013, she was Artistic Director of Transitio_MX05 ‘Biomediations’, the biggest Latin American new media festival, which took place in Mexico City. Her own art practice involves experimenting with different kinds of photo-media. She is also currently exploring ‘the end of man’, in all its tragicomical aspects. http://www.joannazylinska.net


ABSTRACT:

The Multiplicity of Watery Mediations: HYDROMEDIA and WATERKINO

We don’t yet know what water can do—and neither do we know what water is, what it does and what it could be. Adopting a Bergsonian-Deleuzian perspective, my talk will be based on the premise that water is a multiplicity: understood not in the sense of the mathematical calculation of possibilities and states of being (i.e. flood, rain, beverage), but rather as a qualitative multiplicity that manifests heterogeneity and differences in kind. Yet rather than espouse any noumenon-like fantasies that would allow me to get close to ‘water itself’, whatever that might be, I will position water as a medium, with a view to liberating it from any metaphysical connotations of immediacy, purity and naturalness. I will also suggest that there is no such thing as water itself and that it always comes to us mediated. Similar to Bergson’s duration, mediation is for me a better way of trying to grasp the multiplicity of becomings. It is in a located encounter with two specific filmic events, situated outside the dominant nexus of international visibility and power yet still being part of global media flows, that I will seek the possibility of developing a new mode of engaging with water and its mediations.


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