Handout: King, for “Entanglements of New Materialisms”:
The Third Annual New Materialisms Conference,
25-26 May 2012Linköping University, Sweden; organized by The Posthumanities Hub and Network: Next Generation, and InterGender
In medias res: living in the middle of (media) things
Katie King, Women's Studies, University of Maryland, College Park/Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgHome Page: http://katiekin.weebly.com/ ; follow on twitter @katkingumd – talk website: http://thingmedia.blogspot.com/
• “People often cannot see what they take for granted until they encounter someone who does not take it for granted.” (Bowker andStar 1999: 305)
Becoming aware in the middle of transmedia storytelling of flashbacks, flashforwards, and wormholing dynamics amongdiegetic prototypes and design fictions....
“How do you entangle design, science, fact and fiction in order to create this practice called ‘design fiction’ that, hopefully, provides different, undisciplined ways of envisioning new kinds of environments, artifacts and practices.... Design Fiction ismaking things that tell stories. It’s like science-fiction in that the stories bring into focus certain matters-of-concern, such as howlife is lived, questioning how technology is used and its implications, speculating bout the course of events; all of the uniqueabilities of science-fiction to incite imagination-filling conversations about alternative futures. ...It’s meant to encourage trulyundisciplined approaches to making and circulating culture by ignoring disciplines that have invested so much in erecting boundaries between pragmatics and imagination.” (Bleeker 2005+)
SF – scientifiction, science fiction, speculative fiction, speculative feminisms, science communication and fabulation, wormholes& the plasticities of embedded realities – ecological across systems and multiplicities, amid emergent self-organizing agencies
• phrases quoted from Bateson: "genesis of tangles," "the weave of contextual structure," and "transcontextual syndrome” • MoreBateson: “It seems that both those whose life is enriched by transcontextual gifts and those who are impoverished by transcontextualconfusions are alike in one respect: for them there is always or often a ‘double take.’ A falling leaf [or] the greeting of a friend…is not‘just that and nothing more.’” (Star & Ruhleder 1996:127 quote Bateson 1972:276; Bateson: 272; Star 2010:610)
A DOUBLE BIND IS
: needing fine discriminations between kinds of messages for urgent appropriate response as survival appears to be at stake
: and this at two different orders of message, each of which denies the other
: not permitting the meta-communicative statements that check one’s choice of what kind of message is appropriate for response, or otherwise making such checks of context impossible, inappropriate or meaningless. (See Bateson 1972)
How to be an agent among the complex worldly processes humans are not the controllers of, but bits within; studies of emergence andself-organization. EMBEDDED REALITIES across transmedia storytelling.
"Academic practices of all kinds are now also enlistedas kinds of transmedia storytelling. I call these Queer Transdisciplinarities, but not in a move to enlist them in identity politics,although sometimes they very explicitly and quite properly are, inside my own feminist fields of interest and attention. Rather,my point in naming them thus is to watch them ‘queer the pitch’: they require us to attend to, to learn to be affected by, the political economies of knowledge worlds, to how interlinked now are the economies of entertainment, knowledge laborings,globally restructured academies, governmentalities, and infrastructures of communication." (King 2011, “Queering the Pitch.”)
THE FUTURE IS NOW: sustainable, commercial, ecological, double bind innovation, restructuring, queering the pitch
"technological advocates who construct diegetic prototypes have a vested interest in conveying to audiences that these fictionaltechnologies can and should exist in the real world. In essence, they are creating ‘pre-product placements’ for technologies that do notyet exist. Film-makers and science consultants craft diegetic prototypes and enhance their realism by creating a full elaboration of thetechnological diegesis which includes any part of the fictional world concerning the technology. Through their actions they construct afilmic realism that implies self-consistency in both the real world and the story world. The creation of diegetic prototypes involves theinclusion of scenes that provide opportunities to demonstrate this realism as well as positing a real world need for the technology andthe avoidance of scenes that would undermine the technology or cast it as risky." (Kirby 2010: 46)• "Near Future Laboratory is a thinking, making, design, development and research practice based in California and Europe. Our goalis to understand how imaginations and hypothesis become materialized to swerve the present into new, more habitable near futureworlds." Online at: http://nearfuturelaboratory.com/ (See also Julian Bleecker’s work).
Star 2010: 610: “As I delved deeper into the relations between developers and users, it became clear that a kind of communicative tangle was occurring. I used the work of GregoryBateson, who had studied these sorts of communicative mishaps under the heading of ‘double binds.’ As with Bateson’s work on schizophrenics, and what he called ‘the trans-contextualsyndrome,’ the messages that were coming at level one from the systems developers were not being heard on that level by the users and vice versa. What was obvious to one was a mysteryto another. What was trivial to one was a barrier to another. Yet, clarifying this was never easy…. I began to see this as a problem of infrastructure—and its relative nature.”