• Technofossils of the Anthropocene

    Author(s):
    Sy Taffel (see profile)
    Date:
    2016
    Group(s):
    Cultural Studies
    Subject(s):
    Communications, Cultural studies, Digital humanities, Digital media, Ecocriticism
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Anthropocene, media archaeology, new materialism, plastic
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M64V2R
    Abstract:
    From the inception of modern, petrochemical-derived synthetic plastics to the contemporary situation in which over 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year, media assemblages and plastics constitute a range of intra-actions that contribute to our understanding of contemporary material politics. This article explores a number of issues surrounding entanglements of media and plastics, including the formation of vast oceanic plastic garbage patches, the treatment of highly toxic electronics waste, the usage of thermal papers that disrupt the human endocrine system, and the formation of technical fossils whose lack of biodegradability forms one strand of evidence within discourses of the Anthropocene. The material politics of plastics places into conversation temporal scales ranging from geological rhythms, which are measured in millions of years, to the hyperconsumption of 24/7 global capitalism, asking pertinent questions about how we conceptualize contemporary ethical and biopolitical issues surrounding humans and other living systems.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 week ago
    License:
    Attribution-ShareAlike

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